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N-.7 bn Ha. 

Boston Public Library 

Do not write in this book or mark it with pen or 
pencil. Penalties for so doing are imposed by the 
Revised Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

This book tea 
la<!t stamped bc^ 

s issued to the borrower on the date 



üi'i no 


FOSM NO. 609: 12,3,37 5J0M. 


Jarrold a Sons' 

IHew SíxsSbillíitő Jíctíon^ 


Halil the Pedlar. 

(The White Rose.) 


Tales From Tolstoi. 

Translated from the Russian by R. NiSBET 
Bain, and with Biography of the Author. 

By the Author of "ANIMA VILIS." 


By Marya Rodziewicz. 
Translated from the Polish by Count Stanislaus 



Autumn Glory. 

Translated by Mrs. Ellen Waugh. 

By the Author of 


Ivy Cardew. 

By Perkington Pkimm. 

God's Rebel. 


Memory Street. 

London : 


Publishers, At the Libraries. 

10 & II, Warwick Lane, And of all Booksellers, 


Haul the Pedlar 



Maurus Jokai 


"The Green Book," "Black Diamonds," "The Poor Plutocrats," etc, 

Authorised Edition, Translated by 


JAMS pruR cr 




JAREOLD & SONS. lo & ii, W.VKWiLtv lAM;, 


[All Rights Reserved] 



• Jb-j Ha. 

Translated from the Hungarian^ " A fehér rbzsa^'' 
by R, Nisbet Bain, 


London : Jarrold b' Sons 




I. THE PEDLAR - - - - II 



V. THE CAMP - - - - - 99 







XII. HUMAN HOPES - - - - 24O 



On September 28th, 1730, a rebellion burst forth in 
Stambul against Sultan Achmed III, whose cowardly 
hesitation to take the field against the advancing 
hosts of the victorious Persians had revolted both the 
army and the people. The rebelhon began in the 
camp of the Janissaries, and the ringleader was one 
Halil Patrona, a poor Albanian sailor-man, who after 
plying for a time the trade of a petty huckster had 
been compelled, by crime or accident, to seek a refuge 
among the mercenary soldiery of the Empire, The 
rebellion was unexpectedly, amazingly successful. The 
Sultan, after vainly sacrificing his chief councillors to 
the fury of the mob, was himself dethroned by Halil, 
and Mahmud I. appointed Sultan in his stead. For 
the next six weeks the ex-costermonger held the 
destiny of the Ottoman Empire in his hands till, on 
November 25th, he and his chief associates were 
treacherously assassinated in full Divan by the secret 
command, and actually in the presence of, the very 
monarch whom he had drawn from obscurity to set 
upon the throne. 

This dramatic event is the historical basis of Jókai's 


famous story, " A Fehér Rózsa," now translated into 
English for the first time. No doubt the genial 
Hungarian romancer has ideahsed the rough, out- 
spoken, masterful rebel-chief, HaHl Patrona, into a 
great patriot-statesman, a martyr for justice and 
honour ; yet, on the other hand, he has certainly pre- 
served the sahent features of HaliFs character and, 
so far as I am competent to verify his authorities, has 
not been untrue to history though, as I opine, depend- 
ing too much on the now somewhat obsolete narrative 
of Hammer-Purgstall (" Geschichte des osmanischen 
Reichs "). Almost incredible as they seem to us 
sober Westerns, such incidents as the tame surrender 
of Achmed III, the elevation of the lowliest dema- 
gogues to the highest positions in the realm, and the 
curious and characteristically oriental episode of the 
tulip-pots, are absolute facts. Naturally Jókai's 
splendid fancy has gorgeously embelHshed the plain 
narrative of the Turkish chroniclers. Such a subject 
as HaliFs strange career must irresistibly have 
appealed to an author who is nothing if not vivid 
and romantic, and ever delights in startling contrasts. 
On the other hand, the unique episode of Gül-Bejáze, 
"The White Rose," and her terrible experiences in 
the Seraglio are largely, if not entirely, of Jókai's own 
invention, and worthy, as told by him, of a place in 
The Thousand and One Nights. 


Finally — a bibliographical note. 

Originally "A Fehér Rózsa," under the title of 
" Halil Patrona," formed the first part of " A 
Janicsárok végnapjai," a novel first published at Pest 
in three volumes in 1854- The two tales are, how- 
ever, quite distinct, and have, since then, as a matter 
of fact, frequently been published separately. The 
second part of " A Janicsárok végnapjai " was trans- 
lated by me from the Hungarian original, some years 
ago, under the title of " The Lion of Janina," and 
published by Messrs. Jarrold and Sons as one of their 
" Jókai " Series in 1 898. The striking favour with 
which that story was then received justifies my hope 
that its counterpart, which I have re-named " Halij 
the Pedlar," from its chief character, may be equally 

R. NiSBET Bain. 
September^ 1901. 




Time out of mind, for hundreds and hundreds of 
years, the struggle between the Shiites and ihe 
Sunnites has divided the Moslem World. 

Persia and India are the lands of the Shiites ; 
Turkey, Arabia, Eg>'pt, and the realm of Barbary 
follow the tenets of the Sunna. 

Much blood, much money, many anathemas, and 
many apostasies have marked the progress of this 
quarrel, and still it has not even yet been made quite 
clear whether the Shiites or the Sunnites are the true 
believers. The question to be decided is this : which 
of the four successors of the Prophet, Ali, Abu Bekr, 
Osmar, and Osman, was the true Caliph. The Shiites 
niaintain that Ali alone was the true Caliph. The 
Sunnites, on the other hand, affirm that all four were 
true Caliphs and equally holy. And certainly the 


Shiites must be great blockheads to allow themselves 
to be cut into mince-meat by thousands, rather than 
admit that God would enrich the calendar with three 
saints distasteful to them personally. 

The head Mufti had already hurled three fetvas 
at the head of Shah Mahmud, and just as many 
armies of valiant Sunnites had invaded the territories 
cf the Shiites. The redoubtable Grand Vizier, 
Damad Ibrahim, had already wTested from them 
Tauris, Erivan, Kermandzasahan, and Hamadan, and 
the gxDod folks of Stambul could talk of nothing else 
but these victories — victories which they had extra 
good reason to remem/oer, inasm^uch as the Janissaries, 
at every fresh announcement of these triumphs, all 
the miore vigorously exercised their martial prowess 
on the peaceful inhabitants they were supposed to 
protect, and not only upon them, but likewise upon 
the still more peaceful Sultan who, it must be ad- 
mitted, troubled him.self very little either about the 
Sunnites, or the victories of his Grand Vizier, being 
quite content with the contemplation of his perpetu- 
ally blooming tulips and of the damsels of the 
Seraglio, who were even fairer to view than the tulips 
whose blooms they themselves far outshone. 

The last rays of sunset were about to depart from 


the minarets of Stambul. The imposing shape of 
the City of the Seven Hills loomed forth like a 
majestic picture in the evening light. Below, all 
aflame from the reflection of the burning sky, lies 
the Bosphorus, wherein the Seraglio and the suburbs 
of Pera and Galata, with their tiers upon tiers of 
houses and variegated fairy palaces, mirror them- 
selves tranquilly. The long, winding, narrow streets 
climb from one hill to another, and every single hill 
is as green as if mother Nature had claimed her due 
portion of each from the inhabitants, so different 
from our western cities, all paved and swept clean, 
and nothing but hard stone from end to end. Here, 
on the contrary, nothing but green meets the eye. 
The bastions are planted with vines and olive-trees, 
pomegranate and cypress trees stand before the 
houses of the ricL The poorer folks who ihave no 
gardens plant flowers on their house-tops, or at any 
rate grow vines round their windows which in time 
run up the whole house, and from out of the midst 
of this perennial verdure arise the shining cupolas of 
eighty mosques. At the end of every thoroughfare, 
overgrown with luxuriant grass and thick-foliage d 
cypresses, only the turbaned tombstones show that 
here is the place of sad repose. And the effect of 
the picture is heightened by the mighty cupola of the 
all- dominating Aja Sofia mosque, which looks right 


over all these palaces into the golden mirror of the 
Cosphorus. Soon this golden mirror changes into 
a mirror of bronze, the sun disappears, and the tran- 
quil oval of the sea borrows a metallic shimmer from 
the dark-blue sky. The kiosks fade into dark- 
ness ; the vast outlines of the Rumili Hisar and 
the Anatoli Hisar stand out against the starry 
heaven ; and excepting the lamps lit here and there 
in the kihans of the foreign merchants and a few 
minarets, the whole of the gigantic city is wrapped in 

The muezzin intone the evening noómát from the 
slender turrets of the mosques ; everyone hastens to 
get home before night has completely set in ; the 
mule-drivers urge on their beasts laden on both sides 
with leather bottles, and their tinkling bells resound 
in the narrow streets; the shouting water-carriers 
and porters, whose long shoulder-poles block up the 
whole street, scare out of their way all whom they 
meet ; whole troops of dogs come forth from the 
cemeteries to fight over the offal of the piazzas. 
Every true believer endeavours as soon as possible 
to get well behind bolts and bars, and would regard 
it as a sheer tempting of Providence to quit his 
threshold under any pretext whatsoever before the 
morning invocation of the muezzin. He especially 
who at such a time should venture to cross the 


piazza of the Etmeidan would have been judged 
very temerarious or very ill-informed, inasmuch as 
three of the gates of the barracks of the Janis- 
saries open upon this piazza ; and the Janissaries, 
even when they are in a good humour, are not 
over particular as to the sort of jokes they 
choose to play, for their own private amusement, 
upon those who may chance to fall into their hands. 
Every faithful Mussulman, therefore, guards his foot- 
steps from any intrusion into the Etmeidan, as being 
in duty bound to know and observe that text of the 
Koran which says, "A fool is he who plunges into 
peril that he might avoid." 

The tattoo had already been beaten with wooden 
sticks on a wooden board, when two men encountered 
each other in one of the streets leading into the 

One of them was a stranger, dressed in a Wallachian 
gunya, long shoes, and with a broad reticule dangHng 
at this side. He looked forty years old and, so far as 
it was possible to distinguish his iignre and features in 
the twilight, seemed to be a strong, well-built man, 
with a tolerably plump face, on which at that moment 
no small traces of fear could be detected and some- 
thing of that uncomfortable hesitation which is apt 
to overtake a man in a large foreign city which he 
visits for the very first time. 


The other was an honest Mussulman about thirty 
years old, with a thick, coal-black beard and 
passionate, irritable features, whose true character 
was very fairly reflected in his pair of flashing black 
eyes. His turban was drawn deep down over his 
temples, obliterating his eyebrows completely, which 
made him look more truculent than ever. 

The stranger seemed to be going towards the 
Etmeidan, the other man to be coming from it. The 
former let the latter pass, by squeezing himself 
against the wall, and only ventured to address him 
when he perceived that he had no evil intentions 
towards him. 

" I prythee, pitiful Mussulman, be not wrath 
with me, but tell me where the Etmeidan piazza 

The person so accosted instantly stopped short, 
and fixing the interrogator with a stony look, replied 
angrily : 

" Go straight on and you'll be there immediately." 

At these words the knees of the questioner smote 

" Woe is me ! worthy Mussulman, I prythee be not 
wrath, I did not ask thee where the Etmeidan was 
because! wanted to go there, but to avoid straying 
into it. I am a stranger in this city, and in my 
terror I have been drawing near to the very place I 


want to avoid. I prythee leave me not here all by 
myself. Every house is fast closed Not one of the 
khans will let me in at this hour. Take me home 
with you, I will not be a burden upon you, I can 
sleep in your courtyard, or in your cellar, if only I 
may escape stopping in the streets all night, for I 
am greatly afraid." 

The Turk so addressed was carrying in one hand 
a knapsack woven out of rushes. This he now 
opened and cast a glance into it, as if he were taking 
counsel with himself whether the hsh and onions he 
had just bought in the market-place for his supper 
would be sufficient for two people. Finally he 
nodded his head as if he had made up his mind at 

. " Very well, come along ! " said he, " and follow 

The stranger would have kissed his hand, he could 
not thank his new friend sufficiently. 

" You had better wait to see what you are going 
to get before you thamk me," said the Turk ; " you 
will find but scanty cheer with me, for I am only a 
poor man." 

" Oh, as for that, I also am poor, very poor indeed," 
the new-comer hastened to reply with the crafty 
obsequiousness peculiar to the Greek race. " My 
name is Janaki, and I am a butcher at Jassy. The 



kavasses have laid their hands upon my apprentice 
and all my live-stock at the same time, and that is 
why I have come to Stambul. I shall be utterly 
beggared if I don't get them back." 

" Well, Allah aid thee. Let us make haste, for it 
is already dark." 

And then, going on in front to show the way, he 
led the stranger through the narrow winding laby- 
rinth of baffling lanes and alleys which lead to the 
Hebdomon Palace, formerly the splendid residence of 
the Greek Emperors, but now the quarter where the 
poorest and most sordid classes of the populace 
herd together. The streets here are so narrow 
that the tendrils of the vines and gourds growing on 
the roofs of the opposite houses meet together, and 
form) a natural baldachino for the benefit of the foot- 
passenger below. 

Suddenly, on reaching the entrance of a peculiarly 
long and narrow lane, the loud-sounding note of a 
song, bawled by someone coming straight towards 
them, struck upon their ears. It was some drunken 
man evidently, but whoever the individual might be, 
he was certainly the possessor of a tremendous pair 
of lungs, for he could roar like a buffalo, and not 
content with roaring, he kept thundering at the doors 
of all the houses he passed with his fists. 

" Alas ! worthy Mussulman, I suppose this is some 


good-humoured Janissary, eh ? " stammered the new- 
comer with a terrified voice. 

" Not a doubt of it. A peace-loving man would 
not think of making such a bellowing as that." 

"Would it not be as well to turn back? " 

" We might meet a pair of them if we went another 
way. Take this lesson from me : Never turn back 
from tlie path you have once taken, as otherwise you 
will only plunge into still greater misfortunes." 

Meanwhile they were drawing nearer and nearer 
to the bellowing gentleman, and before long his figure 
came full into view. 

And certainly his figure was in every respect 
worthy of his voice. He was an enormous, six-foot 
high, herculean fellow, with his shirt-sleeves rolled 
- up to his shoulders, and the disorderly appearance 
of his dolman and the crooked cock of his turban 
more than justified the suspicion that he had already 
taken far more than was good for him of that fluid 
which the Prophet has forbidden to all true believers. 

" Gel, gel ! Ne miktár dir, gel ! " (" Come along 
the whole lot of you!") roared the Janissary with 
all his might, staggering from one side of the lane 
to the other, and flourishing his naked rapier in the 

" Woe is me, my brave Mussulman ! " faltered the 
Wallachian butcher in a terrified whisper, " wouldn't 


it be as well if you were to take my stick, for he 
might observe that I had it, and fancy I want to 
fight himi with it." 

The Turk took over the sticlv of the butcher as the 
latter seemed to be frightened of it. 

" H'm ! this stick of yours is not a bad one. I see 
that the head of it is well-studded with knobs, and 
that it is weighted with lead besides. What a pity 
you don't know how to make use of it ! " 

" I am only too glad if people will let me live 
in peace." 

" Very well, hide behind me, and come along boldly, 
and when you pass him don't so much as look at 

The Wallachian desired nothing better, but the 
Janissary had already caught sight of him from afar, 
and as, clinging fast to his guide's mantle, he was 
about to slip past the man of war, the Janissary 
suddenly barred the way, seized him by the collar 
with his horrible fist, and dragged the wretched 
creature towards him. 

" Khair evetlesszin domusz ! " (" Not so fast, thou 
swine! ") " a word in thine ear! I have just bought 
me a yataghan. Stretch forth thy neck! I would 
test my weapon upon thee and see whether it is 

The poor fellow was already half-dead with terror. 


With the utmost obsequiousness he at once beg^n 
unfastening his neck-cloth, whimpering at the same 
time something about his four httle children : what 
would become 'of them when they had nobody to care 
for them. 

But his conductor intervened defiantly. 

" Take yourself off, you drunken lout, you ! How 
dare you lay a hand upon my guest. Know you not 
that he who harms the guest of a true believer is 
accursed? " 

" Na, na, na ! " laughed the Janissary mockingly, 
" are you mad, my worthy Balukji, that you bandy 
words with the flowers of the Prophet's garden, with 
Begtash's sons, the valiant Janissaries? Get out of 
my way while you are still able to go away whole, 
for if you remain here much longer, I'll teach you 
to be a little more obedient." 

" Let my guest go in peace, I say, and then go 
thine own way also ! " 

" Why, what ails you, worthy Mussulman ? Has 
anyone offended thee? Mashallah! what business is 
it of thine if I choose to strike off the head of a 
dog? You can pick up ten more like him in the 
street any time you like." 

The Turk, perceiving that it would be difhcult to 
convince a drunken man by mere words, drew nearer 
to him, and grasped the hand that held the yataghan. 


"What do you want?" cried the Janissary, fairly 
infuriated at this act of temerity. 

" Come ! Go thy way ! " 

" Do you know whose hand thou art grasping? 
My name is Hahl." 

" Mine also is Halil." 

" Mine is Halil Pelivan— Halil the Wrestler! " 

" Mine is Halil Patrona." 

By this time the Janissary was beside himself with 
rage at so much opposition. 

" Thou worm ! thou crossed-leg, crouching huckster, 
thou pack-thread pedlar! if thou dost not let me go 
immediately, I will cut off thy hands, thy feet, thine 
ears, and thy nose, and then hang thee up." 

" And if thou leave not go of my guest, I will fell 
thee to the earth with this stick of mine." 

"What, thou wilt fell vie? Me? A fellow like 
thou threaten to strike Halil Pelivan with a stick? 
Strike away then, thou dog, thou dishonourable brute- 
beast, thou dregs of a Mussulman ! strike away then, 
strike here, if thou have the courage ! " 

And with that he pointed at his own head, which 
he flung back defiantly as if daring his opponent to 
strike at it. 

But Halil Patrona's courage was quite equal even 
to such an invitation as that, and he brought down 
the leaded stick in his hand so heavily on the 


Janissary's head that the fellow's face was soon 
streaming with blood. 

Pelivan roared aloud at the blow, and, shaking his 
bloody forehead, rushed upon Patrona like a wounded 
bear, and disregarding a couple of fresh blows on the 
arms and shoulders which had the effect, however, 
of making him drop his yataghan, he grasped his 
adversary with his gigantic hands, lifted him up, and 
then hugged him with the embrace of a boa-con- 
strictor. But now it appeared that Patrona also was 
by no means a novice m the art of self-defence, for 
clutching with both hands the giant's throat, he 
squeezed it so tightly that in a few seconds the 
Janissary began to stagger to and fro, finally falling 
backwards to the ground, whereupon Patrona knelt 
upon his breast and plucked from his beard a 
sufficient number of hairs to serve him as a souvenir. 
Pelivan, overpowered by drink and the concussion of 
his fall, slumbered off where he lay, while Patrona 
with his guest, who was already half-dead with fright, 
hastened to reach his dwelling. 

After traversing a labyrinth of narrow, meander- 
ing lanes, and zig-zagging backwards and forwards 
through all kinds of gardens and rookeries, Halil 
Patrona arrived at last at his own house. 

Were we to speak of " his own street door," we 
should be betraying a gross ignorance of locahty, for 


in the place where Patrona Hved the mere idea of a 
street never presented itself to anybody's imagination. 
There was indeed no such thing there. The spot 
was covered by half a thousand or so of wooden 
houses, mixed together, higgledy-piggledy, so inex- 
tricably, that the shortest way to everybody's house 
was through his neighbour's passage, hall, or court- 
yard, and inasmuch as the inmates of whole rows of 
these houses were in the habit of living together in 
the closest and most mysterious harmony, every 
house was so arranged that the inhabitants thereof 
could slip into the neighbouring dwelling at a 
moment's notice. In some cases, for instance, the 
roofs were continuous ; in others the cellars com- 
municated, so that if ever anyone of the inhabitants 
were suddenly pursued, he could, with the assistance 
of the roofs, passages, and cellars, vanish without 
leaving a trace behind him. 

Halil Patrona's house was of wood like the rest. 
It consisted of a single room, yet this was a room 
which could be made to hold a good deal. It had 
a fire-place also, and if perhaps a chance guest were 
a little fastidious, he could at any rate always make 
sure of a good bed on the roof, which was embowered 
in vine leaves. There was certainly no extrava- 
gant display of furniture inside. A rush-mat in the 
middle of the room, a bench covered with a carpet 


in the corner, a few wooden plates and dishes, a jug 
on a waoden shelf, and a couple of very simple cook- 
ing-utensils in the fire-place — that was all. From 
the roof of the chamber hung an earthenware lamp, 
which Patrona kindled with an old-fashioned flint and 
steel. Then he brought water in a round-bellied 
trough for his guest to wash his hands, fetched 
drinking-water from the well in a long jug, where- 
upon he drew forward his rush-woven market-basket, 
emptied its contents on to the rush-mat, sat him 
down opposite honest Janaki, and forthwith invited 
his guest to fall to. 

There was nothing indeed but a few small fish and 
a few beautiful rosy-red onions, but Halil had so much 
to say in praise of the repast, telling his guest where 
and how these fish were caught, and in what manner 
they ought to be fried so as to bring out the taste ; 
how you could find out which of them had hard roes 
and which soft ; what different sorts of flavours there 
are in the onion tribe, far more, indeed, than in the 
pine-apple ; and then the pure fresh water too — why 
the Koran from end to end is full of the praises of 
fresh pure water, and Halil knew all these passages 
by heart, and had no need to look in the holy book 
for them. And then, too, he had so many interesting 
talcs to tell of travellers who had lost their way in 
the desert and were dying for a drop of water, and 


how Allah had had compassion upon them and guided 
them to the springs of the oasis — so that the guest 
was actually entrapped into imagining that he had 
just been partaking of the most magnificent ban- 
quet, and he enjoyed his meat and drink, and arose 
from his rush-carpet well satisfied with himself and 
with his host. 

ril wager that Sultan Achmed, poor fellow! felt 
far less contented when he rose from his gorgeous 
and luxurious sofa, though the tables beside it were 
piled high with fruits and sweetmeats, and two 
hundred odalisks danced and sang around it. 

" And now let us go to sleep ! " said Halil Patronai 
to his guest. " I know that slumber is the greatest 
of all the joys which Allah has bestowed upon man- 
kind. In our waking hours we belong to others, but 
the land of dreamis is all our own. If your dreams 
be good dreams, you rejoice that they are good, and 
if they be evil dreams, you rejoice that they are but 
dreams. The night is nice and warm, you can sleep 
on the house-top, and if you pull your rope-ladder 
up after you, you need not fear that anybody will 
molest you." 

Janaki said " thank you ! " to everything, and very 
readily clambered to the top of the roof. There he 
found already prepared for him the carpet and the 
fur cushion on which he was to sleep. Plainly these 


were the only cushion and carpet obtainable in the 
house, and the guest observing that these were the 
very things he had noticed in the room below, ex- 
claimed to Halil Patrona : 

" Oh, humane Chorbadshi, you have given me your 
own carpet and pillow ; on what will you sleep, 

"Do not trouble your head about me, muzahr! I 
will bring forth my second carpet and my second 
cushion and sleep on them." 

Janaki peeped through a chink in the roof, and 
observed how vigorously Halil Patrona performed his 
ablutions, and how next he went through his devotions 
with even greater conscientiousness than his ablutions, 
whereupon he produced a round trough, turned it 
■upside down, laid it upon the rush-mat, placed his 
head upon the trough, and folding his arms across 
his breast, peacefully went to sleep in the Prophet. 

The next morning, when Janaki awoke and 
descended to Halil, he gave him -a piece of money 
which they call a golden denarius. 

" Take this piece of money, worthy Chorbadshi," 
said he, " and if you will permit me to remain beneath 
your roof this day also, prepare therewith a mid-day 
meal for us both." 

Halil hastened with the money to the piazza, 
bargained and chaffered for all sorts of eatables, and 


made it a matter of conscience to keep only a single 
copper asper of the money entrusted to him. Then 
he prepared for his guest pilaf, the celebrated Turkish 
dish consisting of rice cooked with sheep's flesh, and 
brought him from the booths of the master-cooks and 
master-sugar-bakers, honey-cakes, dulchas, pistachios, 
sweet pepper-cakes filled with nuts and stewed in 
honey, and all manner of other delicacies, at tlie 
sight and smell of which Janaki began to shout that 
Sultan Achmed could not be better off. Halil, how- 
'ever, requested Ihim not to mention the name of the 
Sultan quite so frequently and not to bellow so loudly. 

That night, also, he made his guest mount to the 
top of tihe roof, and having noticed during the pre- 
ceding night that the Greek had been perpetually 
shifting his position, and consequently suspecting 
that he was little used to so hard a couch, Halil took 
the precaution of stripping off his own kaftan before- 
hand and placing it beneath the carpe't he had 
already surrendered to his guest. 

Early next morning Janaki gave another golden 
denarius to Halil. 

" Fetch me writing materials ! " said he, " for I 
want to write a letter to someone, and then with 
God's help I will quit your house and pursue my 
way further." 

Halil departed, went a-bargaining in the bazaar, 


and returned with what he had been sent for. He 
calculated his outlay to a penny in the presence of 
his guest. The kaleni (pen) was so much, so much 
again the miirekob (ink), and the miihiir (seal) came 
to this and that. The balance he returned to Janaki. 
As for Janaki he went up on to the roof again, 
there wrote and sealed his letter, and thrust it be- 
neath the carpet, and then laying hold of his stick 
again, entreated Halil, with many thanks for his 
hospitality, to direct him to the Pera road whence, 
he said, he could find his way along by himself. 

Hahl willingly comphed with the petition of his 
guest, and accompanied him all the way to the 
nearest thoroughfare. When now Janaki beheld the 
Bosphorus, and perceived that the road from this 
.point was famihar to him, so that he needed no 
further assistance, he suddenly exclaimed : 

"Look now, my friend! an idea has occurred to 
me. The letter I have just written on your roof has 
escaped my memory entirely. I placed it beneath 
the carpet, and beside it lies a purse of money which 
I meant to have sent along with the letter. Now, 
however, I cannot turn back for it. I pray you, 
therefore, go back to your house, take this letter 
together with tlie purse, and hand them both over 
to the person to whom they are addressed — and God 
bless you for it ! '- 


Halil ?tt once turned round to obey this fresh re-. 
quest as quickly as possible. 

" Give also the money to him to whom it belongs ! " 
said the Greek. 

" You may be as certain that it will reach him as 
if you gave it to him yourself." 

"And promise ,me that you will compel him to 
whom the letter is addressed to accept the money." 

" I will not leave his house till he has given me 
a voucher in writing for it, and whenever you come 
back again to me here you will find it in my 

" God be with you then, honest Mussulman ! " 

" Salem alek ! " 

Halil straightway ran home, clambered up to the 
roof by means of the rope-ladder, found both the 
letter and the money under the carpet, rejoiced greatly 
that they had not been stolen during his absence, 
and thrusting them both into his satchel of reeds 
without even taking the trouble to look at them, 
hastened off to the bazaar with them, where there 
was an acquaintance of his, a certain money-changer, 
who knew all about every man in Stambul, in order 
that he might find out from him where dwelt the man 
to whom the letter entrusted to him by the stranger 
was addressed. 

Accordingly he handed the letter to the monev- 


changer in order that he mig-ht give him full direc- 
tions without so much as casting an eye upon the 
address himself. 

The money-changer examined the address of the 
letter, and forthwith was filled with amazement. 

" Halil Patrona ! " cried he, " have you been taking 
part in the Carnival of the Giaours that you have 
allowed yourself to be so befooled ? Or can't you 

" Read ! of course I can. But I don't fancy I can 
know the man to whom this letter is directed." 

" Well, all I can say is that you knew him very 
well indeed this time yesterday, for the man is your- 
self — none other." 

Halil, full of astonishment, took the letter, which 
•hitherto he had not regarded — sure enough it was 
addressed to himself. 

" Then he who gave me this letter must needs be 
a madman, and there is a purse which I have to hand 
over along with it." 

" Yes, I see that your name is written on that also." 
" But I have nothing to do with either the purse 
or the letter. Of a truth the man who confided them 
to me must have been a lunatic." 

" It will be best if you break open the letter and 
read it, then you will Á:noiu what you have got to 
do with it." 


This was true enough. The best way for a man 
to find out what he has to do with a letter addressed 
to him is, certainly, to open and read it. 

And this is what was written in the letter. 

"Worthy Halil Patrona! 

"I told you that I was a poor man, but that 
was not true ; on the contrary, I am pretty well to do, 
thank God! Nor do I wander up and down on the 
face of the earth in search of herds of cattle stolen 
from me, but for the sake of my only daughter, who 
is dearer to me than all my treasures, and now also 
I am in pursuit of her, following clue after clue, in 
order that I may discover her whereabouts and, if 
possible, ransom her. You have been my benefactor. 
You fought the drunken Janissary for my sake, you 
shared your dwelling witih me, you made me lie on 
your own (bed while you slept on the bare ground, 
you even took off your kaftan to make my couch the 
softer. Accept, therefore, as a token of my gratitude, 
the slender purse accompanying this letter. It con- 
tains five thousand piastres, so that if ever I visit you 
again I may find you in better circumstances. God 
help you in all things! 

" Your grateful servant, 


" Now, didn't I say he was mad ? " exclaimed Hahl, 


after reading through the letter. "Who else, I 
should like to know, would have given me five thou- 
sand piastres for three red onions?" 

Meanwhile, attracted by the noise of the conversa- 
tion, a crowd of the acquaintances of Hahl Patrona 
and the money-changer had gathered around them, 
and they laid their heads together and discussed 
among themselves for a long time the question which 
was the greater fool of the two — Janaki, who had 
given five thousand piastres for three onions, or 
Halil who did not want to accept the money. 

Yet Halil it was who turned out to be the biggest 
fool, for he immediately set out in search of the man 
who had given him this sum of money. But search 
and search as he might he could hnd no trace of him. 
•If he had gone in search of someone who had stolen 
a like amount, he would have been able to find him 
very much sooner. 

In the course of his wanderings, he suddenly came 
upon the place where three days previously he had 
had his tussle with Halil Pelivan. He recognised 
the spot at once. A small dab of blood, the remains 
of what had flowed from the giant's head, was still 
there in the middle of the lane, and on the wall of 
the house opposite both their names were written. In 
all probability the Janissary, when lie picked himself 
up again, had dipped his finger in his own blood, and 



then scrawled the names upon the wall in order to 
perpetuate the memory of the incident. He had also 
taken good care to put Halil Pelivan uppermost and 
Halil Patrona undermost. 

" Nay, but that is not right," said Halil to himself ; 
" it was you who were undermost," and snatching 
up the fragment of a red tile he wrote his name above 
that of Halil Pelivan. 

He hurried and scurried about till late in the even- 
ing without discovering a single trace of Janaki, and 
by that time his head was so confused by all manner 
of cogitations that when, towards nightfall, he began 
c'haffering for fish in the Etmeidan market, he would 
not have been a bit surprised if he had been told 
that every single carp cost a thousand piastres. 

He began to perceive, however, that he would have 
to keep the money after all, and the very thought 
of it kept him awake all night long. 

Next day he again strolled about the bazaars, and 
then directed his steps once more towards that house 
where he had dhalked up his name the day before. 
And lo ! the name of Pelivan was again stuck at the 
top of his own. 

" This must be put a stop to once for all," murmured 
Halil, and beckoning to a load-carrier he mounted 
on to 'his shoulders and wrote his name high up, just 
beneath the eaves of the house on a spot where 


Pelivan's name could not top his own again, from 
whence it is manifest that there was a certain secret 
instinct in HaHl Patrona which would not permit 
him to take tlie lower place or suffer him to recognise 
anybody as standing higher than himself. And as 
he, pursuing his way home, passed by the Tsiragan 
Palace, and there encountered riding past him the 
Padishah, Sultan Achmed III., accompanied by the 
Grand Vizier, Ibrahim Damad, the Kiaja Beg, the 
Kapudan Pasha, and the chief Imam, Ispirizade ; 
and as he humbly bowed his head in the dust before 
them, it seemed to him as if something at the bottom 
of his heart whispered to him : " The time will come 
when the wlhole lot of you will bow your heads before 
me in the dust just as I, Halil Patrona, the pedlar, 
do obeisance to you now, ye lords of the Empire and 
the Universe ! " 

Fortunately for Hahl Patrona, however, he did not 
raise his face while the suite of the Lords of tlie 
Universe swept past him, for otherwise it might have 
happened that Halil Pelivan, who went before the 
Sultan with a drawn broadsword, might have recog- 
nised him, and certainly nobody would have taken 
particular trouble to inquire why the Janissary had 
split in two the head of this or that pedlar who 
happened to come in his way. 



The booth c^ Halil Patron a, the pedlar, stood in the 
bazaar. He sold tobacco, chibooks, and pipe-stems, 
but his business was not particularly lucrative. He 
did not keep opium, although that was beginning to 
be one of the principal articles of luxury in the 
{Turkish Empire. From the very look of him one 
couild see that he did not sell the drug. For Halil 
'had determined that he would never have any of 
this soul-benumbing stuff in his shop, and whenever 
Halil made any resolution he generally kept it. 
Oftentimes, sitting in the circle of his neighbours, 
he would fall to discoursing on the subject, and 
would tell them that it was Satan who had sent this 
opium stuff to play havoc among the true believers. 
It was, he would insist, the offscouring of the Jinns, 
and yet Mussulmans did not scruple to put the filth 
into their mouths and chew and inhale it! Hence 
the ruin that was coming upon them and their 
posterity and the whole Moslem race. His neigh- 
bours let him talk on without contradiction, but they 


took good care to sell as much opium themselves as 
possible, because it brought in by far the largest 
profits. Surely, they argued among themselves, be- 
cause an individual cuts his throat with a knife now 
and then, that is no reason why knives in general 
should not be kept for sale in shops? It was plain 
to them that Halil was no born trader. Yet he was 
perfectly satisfied with the httle profit he made, and 
it never occurred to him to wish for anything he had 
not got. 

Consequently when he now found himself the 
possessor of five thousand piastres, he was very much 
puzzled as to what he should do with such a large 
amount. The things he really desired were far, far 
away, quite out of his reach in fact. He would have 
liked to lead fleets upon the sea and armies 
marshalled in battle array. He would have liked to 
have built cities and fortresses. He would have liked 
to have raised up and cast down pashas, dispensed 
commands, and domineered generally. But a 
beggarly five thousand piastres would not go very 
far in that direction. It was too much from one 
point of vie\v and too little from another, so that he 
really was at a loss what to do with it. 

His booth looked out upon that portion of the 
bazaar where there was a vacant space separated from 
the trading booths by lofty iron railings. This 


vacant space was a slave-market. Here the lowest 
class of slaves were freely offered for sale. Every- 
day Haul saw some ten to twenty of these human 
chattels exhibited in front of his booth. It was no 
new sight to him. 

In this slave-market there were none of those 
pathetic scenes which poets and romance writers are 
so fond of describing when, for instance, the rich 
traders of Dirbend offer to the highest bidder 
miracles of loveliness, to be the sport of lust and 
luxury, beautiful Circassian and Georgian maidens, 
whose cheeks burn with shame at the bold rude gaze 
of the men, and whose eyes overflow with tears when 
their new masters address them. There was nothing 
of the sort in this place. This was but the depository 
of used up, chucked aside wares, of useless Jessir, 
such as dry and wrinkled old negresses, worn-out, 
venomous nurses, human refuse, so to speak, to whom 
it was a matter of the most profound indifference 
what master they were called upon to serve, who 
listened to the slang of the auctioneer with absolute 
nonchalance as he circumstantially totted up their 
years and described their qualities, and allowed their 
would-be purchasers to examine their teeth and 
manipulate their arms and legs as if they were the 
very last persons concerned in the business on hand. 

On the occasion of the first general auction that had 


come round after the departure of Janaki from Halil, 
the pedlar was sitting as usual before his booth in 
the bazaar when the public crier appeared in the 
slave-market, leading by the hand a veiled female 
slave, and made the following announcement in a 
loud voice : 

" Merciful Mussulmans ! Lo ! I brijig hither from 
the harem of his Majesty the Sultan, an odalisk, who 
is to be .put up to public auction by command of the 
Padishah. The name of this odalisk is Gül-Bejáze ; 
her age is seventeen years, she has all her teeth, her 
breath is pure, her skin is clean, her hair is thick, she 
can dance and sing, and do all manner of woman's 
handiwork. His shall she be who makes the highest 
bid, and the sum obtained is to be divided among 
the dervishes. Two thousand piastres have already 
been promised for her; come hither and examine 
her — ^whoever gives the most shall have her." 

" Allah preserve us from the thought of purchasing 
this girl," observed the wiser of the merchants, " why 
that would be the same thing as purchasing the 
wrath of the Padishah for hard cash," and they wisely 
withdrew into the interiors of their booths. They 
knew well enough what was likely to happen to the 
man who presumed to buy an odalisk who had been 
expelled from the harem of the Sultan. Anyone 
daring to do such a thing might just as well chall; 


up the names of the four avenging angels on the 
walls of his house, or trample on his talisman with 
his slippers straight away. It was not the act of a wise 
man to pick up a flower whidh the Sultan had thrown 
away in order to inhale its fragrance. 

The public crier remained in the middle of the 
bazaar alone with the slave-girl; the chapmen had 
not only retired into their shops but barred the doors 
behind them. " Much obliged to you ; but we would 
not accept such a piece of good luck even as a gift," 
they seemed to say. 

Only one man still remained in front of his shop, 
and that was Halil Patrona. He alone had the 
courage to scrutinise the slave-girl carefully. 

Perchance he felt compassion for this slave. He 
could not but perceive how the poor thing was 
trembling beneath the veil which covered her to the 
very heels. Nothing could be seen of her but her 
eyes, and in those eyes a tear was visible. 

" Come ! bring her into my shop ! " said Halil to 
the public crier ; " don't leave her out in the public 
square there for everybody to stare at her." 

'* Impossible ! " rephed the public crier. " As I 
value my head I must obey my orders, and my orders 
are to take her veil from off her head in the auction- 
yard, where the ordinary slaves are wont to be 
offered for sale, and there announce the price .set 
upon her in the sight and hearing of all men/* 


" What crime has this slave-girl committed that she 
should be treated so scurvily? " 

" Hahl Patrona ! " answered the public crier, " it 
will be all the better for my tongue and your ears if 
I do not answer that question. I simply do what I 
have been told to do. I unveil this odalisk, I pro- 
claim what she can do, to what use she can be put. 
I neither belittle her nor do I exalt her. I advise 
nobody to buy her and I advise nobody not to buy her. 
Allah is free to do what He will with us all, and 
that which has been decreed concerning each of us 
ages ago must needs befall." And with these words 
he whisked away the veil from the head of the 

"By the Prophet! a beauteous maid indeed! 
What eyes! A man might fancy they could speak, 
and if one gazed at them long enough one could 
fmd more to learn there than in all that is written 
in the Koran! What lips too! I would gladly re- 
main outside Paradise if by so doing I might gaze 
upon those lips for ever. And what a pale face ! 
Well does she deserve the name of Gül-Bejáze ! Her 
cheeks do indeed resemble white roses! And one 
can see dewdrops upon them, as is the way with 
roses! — the dewdrops from her eyes! And what 
must such eyes be like when they laugh? What 
must that face be like w^hen i't blushes? What must 


that mouth be hke when it speaks, when it sighs, 
when it trembles with sweet desire?" 

Hahl Patrona was quite carried away by his en- 

" Carry her not any further," he said to the pubhc 
crier, " and show her to nobody else, for nobody else 
would dare to buy her. Besides, I'll give you for 
her a sum which nobody else would think of offer- 
ing, I will give five thousand piastres." 

" Be it so ! " said the crier, veiling the maid anew ;" 
"you have seen her, anyhow, bring your money and 
take the girl ! " 

Halil went in for his purse, handed it over to the 
crier (it held the exact am^ount to a penny), and took 
the odalisk by the hand — there she stood alone with 

Halil Patrona now lost not a moment in locking 
up his shop, and taking the odalisk by the hand led 
her away with him to his poor lonely dwelling-place. 

All the way thither the girl never uttered a word. 

On reaching the house Halil made the girl sit 
down by the hearth, and then addressed her in a 
tender, kindly voice. 

" Here is my house, whatever you see in it is mine 
and yours. The whole lot is not very much it is 
true, but it is all our own. You will hnd no orna- 
ments or frankincense in my house, but you can go 


in and out of it as you please without asking any- 
body's leave. Here are two piastres, provide there- 
with a dinner for us both." 

The worthy Mussulman then returned to the 
bazaar, leaving the girl alone in the house. He did 
not return home till the evening. 

Meanwhile Gül-Bejáze had made the two piastres 
go as far as they could, and had supper all ready 
for him. She placed Halil's dish on the reed-mat 
close beside him, but she herself sat down on the 

" Not there, but come and sit down by my side," 
said Halil, and seizing the trembling hand of the 
odalisk, he made her sit down beside him on the 
cushion, piled up the pilaf before her, and invited 
her with kind and encouraging words to fall to. The 
odalisk obeyed him. Not a word had she yet spoken, 
but when she had finished eating, she turned towards 
Halil and murmured in a scarce audible voice, 

" For six days I have eaten nought." 

"What!" exclaimed Halil in amazement, "six 
days! Horrible! And who was it, pray, that com- 
pelled you to endure such torture? " 

"It was my own doing, for I wanted to die." 

Halil shook his head gravely. 

" So young, and yet to desire death ! And do you 
still want to die, eh?" 


" Your own eyes can tell you that I do not.'* 

Halil had taken a great fancy to the girl. He had 
never before known what it was to love any human 
being ; but now as he sat there face to face with the 
girl, whose dark eyelashes cast shadows upon her 
pale cheeks, and regarded her melancholy, irrespon- 
sive features, he fancied he saw a peri before him, 
and felt a new man awakening within him beneath 
this strange charm. 

Halil could never remember the time when his 
heart had actually throbbed for joy, but now that he 
was sitting down by the side of this beautiful maid 
it really began to beat furiously. Ah! how truly 
sang the poeft when he said : " Two worlds there are, 
one beneath the sun and the other in the heart of 
a maid." 

For a long time he gazed rapturously on the 
beauteous slave, admiring in turn her fair counte- 
nance, her voluptuous bosom, and her houri-like 
figure. How lovely, how divinely lovely it all was! 
And then he bethought him that all this loveliness 
was his own ; that he was the master, the possessor 
of tlhis girl, at whose command she would fall upon 
his bosom, envelop him with the pavilion, dark as 
night, of her flowing tresses, and embrace him with 
arms of soft velvet. Ah! and those lips were not 
only red but sweet ; and that breast was not only 


snow-white bult throbbing and ardent — and at the 
thought his brain began to swim for joy and rapture. 

And yet he did not even know wiliat to call her! 
He had never had a slave-girl before, and hardly 
knew how to address her. His own tongue was not 
wont to employ tender, caressing words ; he knew 
not What to say to a woman to make her love him. 

" Gül-Bejíize ! " he murmured hoarsely. 

" I aAvait your commands, my master I '' 

" My name is Hahl — call me so ! " 

" Halil, I await your commands ! " 

" Say nothing about commanding. Sit down beside 
me here ! Come, sit closer, I say ! " 

The girl sat down beside hinx She was quite close 
to him now. 

• But the worst of it was that, even now, Halil had 
not thje remotest idea what to say to her. 

The maid was sad and apathetic, she did not weep 
as slave-girls are wont to do. Halil would so much 
have liked the girl to talk and tell him her history, 
and the cause of her melancholy, then perhaps it 
would haA^e been easier for him to talk too. He 
would then have been able to have consoled her, 
and after consolation would have come love. 

" Tell me, Gül-Bejáze ! " said he, " how was it that 
the Sultan had you offered for sale in the 


The girl looked at Halil with those large black 
eyes of hers. When she raised her long black lashes 
it was as though he gazed into a night lit up by two 
black suns^ and thus she cox.tinued gazing at him 
for a long time fixedly and sadly. 

" That also you will learn to know, Halil/' she 
m'ur mured. 

And Halil felt his heart grow hotter and hotter 
the nearer he drew to this burning, kindling flame; 
his eyes flashed sparks at the sight of so much beauty, 
he seized the girl's hand and pressed it to his lips. 
How cold that hand was! All the more reason for 
warming it on his lips and on his bosom ; but, for 
all his caressing, the little hand remained cold, as 
cold as the hand of a corpse. 

Surely that throbbing breast, those provocative 
lips, are not as cold? 

Halil, intoxicated with passion, embraced the girl, 
and as he drew her to his breast, as he pressed her 
to him, the girl murmured to herself — it sounded like 
a gentle long-drawn-out sigh : 

"Blessed Mary!" 

And tjhen the girl's long black hair streamed over 
her face, and when Halil smoothed it aside from 
the fair countenance to see if it had not grown redder 
beneath his embrace — behold! it was whiter than 
ever. All trace of life had fled from it, the eyes were 


cast down, the lips closed and bluish. Dead, dead — 
a corpse lay before him ! 

But Halil would not believe it. He fancied that 
the girl was only pretending. He put his hand on 
her fair bosom — ^bu't he could not hear the beating 
of the heart. The girl had lost all sense of feeling. 
He could have done with her what he would. A 
dead body lay in his bosom. 

An ice-cold feeling of horror penetrated Halil's 
heart, altogether extinguishing the burning fla'me of 
passion. All tremulously he released the girl and 
laid her down. Then he whispered full of fear : 

"Awake! I will not hurt you, I will not hurt 

Her light kaftan had glided down from her 
•bosom ; he restored it to its place and, awe-struck, 
he continued gazing at the features of the lovely 

After a few moments the girl opened her lips and 
sighed heavily, and presently her large black eyes 
also opened once more, her lips resumed their former 
deep-red hue, her eyes their enchanting radiance, 
her face the delicate freshness of a white rose, once 
more her bosom began to rise and fall. 

She arose from tlic carpet on which Halil had laid 
her, and set to work removing and re-arranging the 
scattered dishes and platters. Only after a few 


moments had elapsed did she whisper to Hahl, who 
could not restrain his aistonishment : 

" And now you know why the Padishah ordered 
me to be sold like a common slave in the bazaar. 
The instant a man embraces me I become as dead, 
and remain so until he lets me. go again, and his lips 
grow cold upon mine and his heart abhors me. My 
name is not Gül-Bejáze, the White Rose, but Giil- 
Olü, the Dead Rose." 



The sun is shining through the windows of the 
SeragHo, the two Ulemas who are wont to come and 
pray with the Sultan have withdrawn, and the Kapu- 
Agasi, or chief doorkeeper, and the Anakhtar Oglan, 
or chief key-keeper, hasten to open the doors through 
which the Padishah generally goes to his dressing- 
room, where already await him the most eminent 
personages of the Court, to wit, the Khas-Oda-Bashi, 
or Master of the Robes, the Chobodar who hands the 
Sultan his first garment, the Dülbendar who ties the 
shawl round his body, the Berber-Bashi who shaves 
his head, the Ibrikdar Aga who washes his hands, the 
Peshkiriji Bashi who dries them again, the Scrbedji- 
Bashi who has a pleasant potion ready for him, and 
the Temakdji who carefully pares his nails. All these 
grandees do obeisance to the very earth as they catch 
sight of the face of the Padishah making his way 
through innumerable richly carved doors on his way 
to his dressing-chamber. 

This robing-room is a simple, hexagonal room, with 


lofty, gold-entrellised window ; its whole beauty 
consists in this, that the walls are inlaid with 
amethysts, from whose jacinth-hued background 
shine forth the more lustrous raised arabesques 
formed by topazes and dalmatines. Precious stones 
are the delight of the Padishah. Every inch of his 
garments is resplendent with diamonds, rubies, and 
peads, his very fingers are hidden by the rings which 
sparkle upon them. Pomp is the very breath of his 
life. And his countenance well becomes this splen- 
dour. It is a mild, gentle, radiant face, like the face 
of a father when he moves softly among 'his loving 
children. His large, melancholy eyes rest kindly on 
the face of everyone he beholds ; his smooth, delicate 
forehead is quite free from wrinkles. It would seem 
as if it could never form into folds, as if its possessor 
could never be angry ; there is not a single grey hair 
in his well-kept, long black beard ; it would seem as 
if he knew not the name of grief, as if he were the 
very Son of Happiness. 

And so indeed he was. For seven-and-twenty 
years he had sat upon the throne. It is possible that 
during these seven-and-twenty years many changes 
may have taken place in the realm which could by no 
means call for rejoicing, but Allaih had 'blessed him 
with such a happy disposition as to make him quite 
indifferent to these unfortunate events, in fact, he did 


not trouble his head about them at all. Like the 
true philosopher he was, he continued to rejoice in 
whatsoever was joyous. He loved beautiful flowers 
and beautiful women — and he had enough of both 
and to spare. His gcirdens were more splendid than 
the gardens of Soliman the Magnificent, and that his 
Seraglio was no joyless abode was demonstrated by 
the fact that so far he was the happy father of one- 
and-thirty children. 

He must have had exceptionally pleasant dreams 
last night, or his favourite Sulltana, the incomparably 
lovely Adsalis, must have entertained him with un- 
usually pleasant stories, or perchance a new tulip must 
have blossomed during the night, for he extended 
his hand to everyone to kiss, and when the Berber- 
Bashi proceeded comfortably to adjust the cushions 
beneath him, the Sultan jocosely tapped the red 
swelling cheeks of his faithful servant — cheeks which 
the worthy Bashi had taken good care of even in 
the days when he was only a barber's apprentice in 
the town of Zara, but which had swelled to a size 
worthy even of the rank of a Berber-Bashi, since his 
lot had fallen in pleasant places. 

" Allah watch over thee, and grant that thy mouth 
may never complain against thy hand, worthy Berber- 
Bashi. What is the latest news from the town ? " 

It would appear from this that the barbers in 


Stambul also, even when they rise to the dignity of 
Berber-Bash is, are expected to follow the course of 
public -events with the utmost attention, in order to 
communicate the most interesting details thereof to 
others, and thus relieve the tedium invariably atten- 
dant upon shaving. 

" Most mighty and most gracious One, if thou 
deignest to listen to the worthless words which drop 
from the mouth of thine unprofitable servant with 
those ears of thine created but to receive messages 
from Heaven, I will relate to thee what has happened 
most recently in Stambul." 

The Sultan continued to play with his ring, which 
he had taken off one linger to slip on to another. 

" Thou hast laid the command upon me, most 
puissant and most gracious Padishah," continued the 
Berber-Bashi, unwinding the pearl-embroidered kaiik 
from the head of the Sultan — "thou hast laid the 
command upon me to discover and acquaint thee 
with what further befell Gül-Bejáze after she had 
been cast forth from thy harem. From morn to eve, 
and again (from eve to morning, I have been search- 
ing from house to house, making inquiries, listening 
with all my ears, mingling among the chapmen of 
the bazaars disguised as one of themselves, inducing 
them to speak, and ferreting about generally, till, at 
last, I have got to tlhe bottom of the matter. For 


a long time nobody dared to buy the girl; it is 
indeed but meet that none should dare to pick up 
what the mightiest monarch of the earth has thrown 
away ; it is but meet that the spot where he has cast 
out the ashes from his pipe should be avoided by all 
men, and that nobody should venture to put the sole 
of his foot there. Yet, nevertheless, in the bazaar, 
oine madly presumptuous man was found who was 
lured to his destruction at the sight of the girl's 
beauty, and received her for five thousand piastres 
from tliie hand of the public crier. Tlhese five thou- 
sand piastres were all the money he had, and he got 
them, in most wondrous wise, from a foreign butcher 
whom he had welcomed to his house as a guest." 

"What is the name of this man?" 

" Halil Patrona." 

" And what happened after that? '* 

" The man took the girl home, whose beauty, of 
a truth, was likely to turn the head of anybody. He 
knew not what had happened to her at the Seraglio, 
in the kiosks of the Kiaja Beg and the Grand 
Vizier, Ibrahim Damad, and in the harem of the 
White Prince. For, verily, it is a joy to even be- 
hold the maiden, and it would be an easy matter to 
lose one's wits because of her, especially if one did 
not know that this fair blossom may be gazed at but 
not plucked, that this beautiful form which puts even 


the houris of Paradise to shame, suddenly becomes 
stiff and dead at the contact of aj man's hand, and 
that neither the warmth of the sun-Hke face of the 
Padishah, nor the fury of the Grand Vizier, nor the 
thongs of the scourge of the Sultana Asseki, nor the 
supphcations of the White Prince, can awaken her 
from her death-like swoon." 

"And didst thou discover what happened to the 
girl after that?" 

" Blessed be every word concerning me which 
issues from thy lips oh, mighty Padishah! Yes, I 
went after the girl. The worthy shopkeeper took 
the maiden home with him. It rejoiced him that 
he could give to her everything that was there. He 
made her sit down beside him. He supped in her 
company. Then he would have embraced her. So 
he drew her to his bosom, and immediately the girl 
collapsed in his arms like a dead thing, as she is 
always wont to do whenever a man touches her, at 
the same time uttering certain magical talismanic 
words of evil portent, from which may the Prophet 
guard every true believer ! For she spoke the name 
of that holy woman whose counterfeit presentment 
the Giaours carry upon their banners, and whose 
namie they pronounce when they go forth to war 
against the true believers." 

" Was he who took her away v/rath thereat? '* 


"Nay, on the contrary, he seemed well satisfied 
that it should be so, and ever since then he has left 
the girl in peace. He regards her as a peri, as one 
who is not in her right mind, and therefore should 
be dealt gently with. She is free to go about the 
house as she likes. Halil will never permit her to do 
any rough work, nay, rather, will he do everything 
himself, with his own hands, so that all his acquain- 
tances already begin to speak of him as a portent, 
and his patience has become a proverb in their 
mouths. Halil they say took unto himself a slave- 
woman, and lo! he has himself become that slave- 
woman's slave." 

" Of a truth it is a remarkable case," observed the 
Padishah ; " try and find out what turn the affair 
takes next. And the Teskeredji Bashi shall record 
everything that thou sayest for an eternal remem- 

During this speech the Berber-Bashi had artistic- 
ally completed the ofhcial dressing of the Padishah's 
head, whereupon the Ibrikdar Aga came forward to 
wash his hands, the Peshkiriji Bashi carefully dried 
them with a towel, the Ternakdji Bashi pared his 
nails, the Diilbendar placed the pearl-embroidered 
kauk on the top of his head, and adjusted the long 
eastern shawl round his waist, the Chobodar handed 
him his upper jacket^ the bmis heavy with turquoise, 


the Silihdar buckled on his tasselled sword, and then 
everyone, after performing the usual salaams with- 
drew, except the Khas-Oda-Bashi ^nd the Kapu- 
Agasi, who remained alone with their master. 

The Khas-Oda-Bashi announced that the two 
humblest of the Sultan's servants, Abdullah, the Chief 
Mufti, and Damad Ibrahim, the Grand Vizier, were 
waiting on their knees for an audience in the 
vestibule of the Seraglio. They desired, he said, to 
communicate important news touching the safety and 
honour of the Empire. 

The Sultan had not yet given an answ^er when, 
through the door leading from the harem, popped 
the Kizlar-Aga, the chief eunuch, a respectable, black- 
visaged gentleman with split lips, who had the melan- 
choly privilege of passing in and out of the Sultan's 
harem at all hours of the day and night, and finding 
no pleasure therein. 

" Kizlar-Aga, my faithful servant ! what dost thou 
want ? " inquired Achmed going to meet him, and 
raising him from the ground whereon he had thrown 

" Most gracious Padishah ! " cried the Kizlar-Aga, 
" the flower cannot go on living without the sun, and 
the most lovely of flowers, that most fragrant blossom, 
the Sultana Asseki, longs to bask in the hght of thy 


At these words the features of Ach'mcd grew still 
more gentle, still more radiant with smiles. He 
signified to the Khas-Oda-Bashi and the Kapu-Agasi 
that they should withdraw into another room, while 
he dispatched the Kizlar-Aga to bring in the Sultana 

Adsalis, for so they called her, was a splendid 
damsel of Damascus. She had been lavishly en- 
dowed with every natural charm. Her skin was 
whiter than ivory and smoother than velvet. Com- 
pared with her dark locks the blackest night was but 
a pale shadow, and the hue of her full smiling face put 
to shame the breaking dawn and the budding rose. 
When she gazed upon Achmed with those eyes of 
hers in which a whole rapturous world of paradisaical 
joys glowed and burned, the Padishah felt his whole 
heart smitten with sweet lightnings, and when her 
voluptuously enchanting lips expressed a wish, iwho 
was there in the wide world who would have the 
courage to gainsay them? Certainly not Achmed! 
Ah, no! "Ask of me the half of my realm! " — that 
was the tiniest of the flattering assurances which he 
was wont to heap upon her. If he were but able to 
embrace her, if he were but able to look into her 
burning eyes, if he were but able to see her smile 
again and again, then he utterly forgot Stambul, 
his capital, the host, the war, and the foreign 


ambassadors — and praised the Prophet for such 

The favourite Sultana approached Achmed with 
that enchanting smile which was eternally irresistible 
so far as he was concerned, and never permitted an 
answer approaching a refusal to even apipear on the 
lips of the Sultan, 

What pressing request could it be? Why it was 
only at dawn of this very day that the Padishah had 
quitted her! What vision of rapture could she have 
seen since then whose realisation she had set her 
heart upon obtaining? 

The Sultan, taking her by the hand, conducted her 
to his purple ottoman, and permitted her to sit down 
at his feet; the Sultana folded her hands on the 
knees of the Padishah, and raising her eyes to his 
face thus addressed him : 

" I come from thy daughter, little Eminah, she has 
sent me to thee that I may kiss thy feet instead of 
her. As often as I see thee, majestic Khan, it is as 
though I see her face, and as often as I behold her 
it is thy face that stands before me. She resembles 
thee as a twinkling star resembles a radiant sun. 
Three years of her life has she accomplished, she has 
now entered upon her fourth summer, and still no 
husband has been destined for her. This very morn- 
ing when thou hadst turned thy face away from me 


I saw a vision. And this was the vision I saw. Thy 
three children, Aisha, Hadishra, and Eminah, were 
sitting in the open piazza, beneath splendid, sparkHng 
pavilions. There were three pavilions standing side 
by side : the first was white, the second violet, and 
the third of a vivid green. In these three pavilions, 
I say, the princesses, thy daughters, were sitting, 
clothed in kapanijaks of cloth of silver, with round 
selmiks on their heads, and embellished with the 
seven lucky circles which bring the blessings of pros- 
perity to womenkind. Thou knowest what these 
circles are, oh Padishah! They are the ishtifan or 
diadem, the necklace, the ear-ring, the fmger-ring, 
the girdle, the bracelet, and the mantle-ring-clasp — 
the seven gifts of felicity, oh Padishah, that the bride- 
groom giveth to the bride. Beside these pavilions, 
moreover, were a countless multitude of other tents 
— of three different hues of blue and three different 
hues of green — and in these tents abode a great 
multitude of Emir Defterdars, Reis-Effendis, Mude- 
rises, and Sheiks. And in front of the Seraglio were 
set up three lofty palm-trees, which elephants drew 
about on great wheeled cars, and there were three 
gardens there, the flowers whereof were made of 
sugar, and then the chiefs of the viziers arose and 
the celebration of the festival began. After the usual 
kissing of hands, the nuptials were proceeded with, 


the Kiaja representing the bridegroom and the 
Kizlar-Aga the bride, and everyone received a present. 
Then came the bridal retinue with the bridal gifts, 
a hundred camels laden with flowers and fruits, and 
an elephant bearing gold and precious stones and 
veils meet for the land of the peris. Two eunuchs 
brought mirrors inlaid with emeralds, and the 7niri 
achorok held the reins of splendidly caparisoned 
chargers. After them came the attendants of the 
Grand Vizier, and delighted the astonished eyes of 
the spectators with a display of slinging. Then 
came the wine-carriers with their wine-skins, and in 
a pavilion set up for the purpose wooden men sported 
with a living centaur. There also were the Egyptian 
sword and hoop dancers, the Indian jugglers and 
serpent charmers, after whom came the Chief Mufti, 
who read aloud a verse from the Koran in the light 
of thy countenance, and gave also the interpretation 
thereof in words fair to listen to. Then followed 
fit and capable men from the arsenal, dragging along 
on rollers huge galleys in full sail, and after them 
the topijis, dragging after them, likewise on rollers, 
a fortress crammed full of cannons, which also they 
fired again and again to the astonishment of the 
multitude. Thereupon began the dancing of the 
Egyptian opium-eaters, which was indeed most mar- 
vellous, and after tliem there was a show of bears 


and apes, which sported right merrily together. 
Close upon these came the procession of the Guilds 
aind the junketing of the Janissaries, and last of all 
the Feast of Palms, which palms were carried to the 
very gates of the Seraglio, along with the sugar 
gardens I have already spoken of. Then there was 
the Feast of Lamps, in which ten thousand shining 
lamps gleamed among twenty thousand blossoming 
tulips, so that one might well have believed that the 
lamps were blossoming and the tulips were shining. 
And all the while the cannons of the Anatoli Hisar 
and the Rumili Hisar were thundering, and the 
Bosphorus seemed to be turned into a sea of fire by 
reason of the illuminated ships and the sparkling fire- 
works. Such then was the dream of the humblest 
of thy slaves at dawn of the 12th day of the month 
Dzhemakir, which day is a day of good omen to the 
sons of Osman." 

It might have been thought a tiresome matter to 
listen to such long, drawn-out visions as this to the 
very end, but Achmed was a good hstener, and, 
besides, he delighted in such things. Nothing made 
him so happy as great festivals, and the surest way 
of gaining his good graces was by devising some new 
pageant of splendour, excellence, and originality un- 
known to his predecessors. Adsalis had won his 
favour by inventing the Feast of Lamps and Tulips, 


which was renewed every year. This Feast of Palms, 
moreover, was another new idea, and so also was the 
idea of the sugar garden. So Achmed, in a trans- 
port of enthusiasm, pressed the favourite Sultana to 
his bosom, and swore solemnly that her dream should 
be fulfilled, and then sent her back into the harem 

And now the Kizlar-Aga admitted the two digni- 
taries who had been waiting outside. The Chief 
Mufti entered first, and after him came the Grand 
Vizier, Damad Ibrahim. Both of them had long, 
flowing, snow-white beards and grave venerable faces. 

They bowed low before the Sultan, kissed the hem 
of his garment, and lay prostrate before him till he 
raised them up again. 

" What brings you to the Seraglio, my worthy 
counsellors?" inquired the Sultan. 

As was meet and right, the Chief Mufti was the 
first to speak. 

" Most gracious, most puissant master ! Be merci- 
ful towards us if with our words we disturb the tran- 
quil joys of thy existence! For though slumber is 
a blessing, wary wakefulness is better than slumber, 
and he who will not recognise the coming of danger 
is like unto him who would rob his own house. It 
will be known unto thee, most glorious Padishah, 
that a few years ago it pleased Allah, in his in- 
scrutable wisdom, to permit the Persian rebel, Esref, 


to drive his lawful sovereign, Tamasip, from his 
capital. The prince became a fugitive, and the 
mother of the prince, dressed in rags, was reduced 
to the wretched expedient of doing menial service in 
the streets of Ispahan for a livehhood. The glory 
of the Ottoman arms could not permit that a usurper 
should sit at his ease on the stolen throne, and thy 
triumphant host, led by the Vizier Ibrahim and the 
virtuous Kiiprili, the descendant of the illustrious 
Nuuman Kiiprih*, wrested Kermandzasahan from Persia 
and incorporated it with thy dominions. And then 
it pleased the Prophet to permit marvellous things 
to happen. Suddenly Shah Tamasip, whom all men 
believed to be ruined — suddenly, I say. Shah Tamasip 
reappeared at the head of a handful of heroes and 
utterly routed the bloody Esref Khan in three pitched 
battles at Damaghan, Derechar, and Ispahan, put him 
to flight, and the hoofs of the horses of the victor 
trod the rebel underfoot. And now the restored 
sovereign demands back from the Ottoman Empire 
the domains which had been occuipied. His Grand 
Vizier, Sahkuli Khan, is advancing with a large army 
against the son of Kiiprili, and the darkness of defeat 
threatens to obscure the sun-like radiance of the 
Ottoman arms. Most puissant Padishah! suffer not 
the tooth of disaster to gnaw away at thy glory! 
The Grand Vizier and I have already gathered 


together thy host on the shores of the Bosphorus. 
They are ready, at a moment's notice, to embark in 
the ships prepared for them. Money and provisions 
in abundance have been sent to the frontier for the 
gallant Nuuman Kliprili on the backs of fifteen 
hundred camels. It needs but a word from thee and 
thine empire will become an armed hand, one buffet 
whereof will overthrow another empire. It needs but 
a wink of thine eye and a host of warriors will spring 
from the earth, just as if all the Ottoman heroes, who 
died for their country four centuries ago, were to rise 
from their graves to defend the banner of the 
Prophet. But that same banner thou shouldst seize 
and bear in thine own hand, most glorious Padishah ! 
for only thy presence can give victory to our arms. 
Arise, then, and gird upon thy thigh the sword of 
thy illustrious ancestor Muhammad ! Descend in the 
midst of thy host which yearns for the light of thy 
countenance, as the eyes of the sleepless yearn for the 
sun to rise, and put an end to the long night of 

Achmed's gentle gaze rested upon the speaker 
abstractedly. It seemed as if, while the Chief Mufti 
was speaking, he had not heard a single word of the 
passionate discourse that had been addressed to him. 

" My faithful servants ! " said he, smiling pleasantly, 
*' this day is to me a day of fehcity* The Sultana 


Asseki at dawn to-day saw a vision worthy of 'being 
realised. A dazzling festival was being celebrated in 
the streets of Stambul, and the whole city shone in 
the illumination thereof. The gardens of the pus- 
pang-trees and the courtyards of the kiosks around 
the Sweet Waters were bright with the radiance of 
lamps and tulips. Waving palm-trees and gardens 
full of sugar-flowers traversed the streets, and galleys 
and fortresses perambulated the piazzas on wheels. 
That dream was too lovely to remain a dream. It 
must be made a reality." 

The Chief Mufti folded his hands across his breast 
and bent low before the Padishah. 

" Allah Akbar! Allah Kerim! God is mighty. Be 
it even as thou dost command ! May the sun rise in 
the west if it be thy will, oh Padishah ! " And the 
Chief Mufti drew aside and was silent. 

But the aged Grand Vizier, Damad Ibrahim, came 
forward, and drying his tearful eyes with the corner 
of his kaftan, stood sorrowfully in front of the 
Padishah. And these were his words : 

" Oh ! my master ! Allah hath appointed certain 
days for rejoicing, and certain other days for mourn- 
ing, and 'tis not well to confuse the one with the 
other. Just now there is no occasion for rejoicing, 
but all the more occasion for mourning. Woeful 
tidings, like dark clouds presaging a storm, are 



coming in from every corner of the Empire — con- 
flagrations, pestilences, earthquakes, inundations, 
hurricanes — alarm and agitate the people. Only this 
very week the fairest part of Stambul, close to the 
Chojabasha, was burnt to the ground ; and only a 
few weeks ago the same faite befell the suburb of 
Ejul along the whole length of the sea-front, and 
that, too, at the very time when the other part of the 
city was illuminated in honour of the birthday of 
Prince Murad. In Gallipoh a thunder-bolt struck the 
powder-magazine, and five hundred workmen were 
blown into the air. The Kiagadehane brook, in a 
single night, swelled to such an extent as to inundate 
the whole valley of Sweet Waters, and a whole park 
of artillery was swept away by the flood. And know 
also, oh Padishah, that, but the other day, a new island 
rose up from the sea beside the island of San- 
torin, and this new island has grown larger and 
larger during three successive months, and all the 
time it was growing, the ground beneath Stambul 
quaked and trembled. These are no good omens, oh, 
my master! and if thou wilt lend thine ears to the 
counsel of thy faithful servant, thou wilt proclaim a 
day of penance and fasting instead of a feast-day, 
for evil days are coming upon Stambul. The voice 
of the enemy can be heard on all our borders, from 
the banks of the Danube as well as from beside the 


waters of the Pruth, from among the mountains of 
Erivan as well as from beyond the islands of the 
Archipelago ; and if every Mussulman had ten hands 
and every one of the ten held a sword, we should 
still have enough to do to defend thy Empire. Bear, 
oh Padishah! with my grey hairs, and pardon my 
temerity. I see Stanibul in the midst of flames every 
time it is illuminated for a festival, and full of con- 
sternation, I cry to thee and to the Prophet, ' Send 
us help and that right soon.' " 

Sultan Achmed continued all the time to smile 
most graciously. 

" Worthy Ibrahim ! " said he at last, " thou hast a 
son, hast thou not, whose name is Osman, and who 
has now attained his fourth year. Now I have a 
daughter, Eminah, who has just reached her third 
year. Lo now ! as my soul liveth, I will not gird on 
the Sword of the Prophet, I will not take in my hand 
the Banner of Danger until I have given these young 
people to each other in marriage. Long ago they 
were destined for each other, and the multiplication 
of thy merits demands the speedy consummation of 
these espousals. I have sworn to the Sultana Asseki 
that so it shall be, and I cannot go back from my oath 
as though I were but an unbeheving fire-worshipper, 
for the fire-worshippers do not regard the sanctity of 
an oath, and when they take an oath or make a 


promise they recite the words thereof backwards, and 
believe they are thereby free of their obligations. 
It beseemeth not the true believers to do likewise. 
I have promised that this festival shall be celebrated, 
and it is my desire that it should be splendid." 

Ibrahim sighed deeply, and it was with a sad 
countenance that he thanked the Padishah for this 
fresh mark of favour. Yet the betrothal might so 
easily have been postponed, for the bridegroom was 
only four years old and the bride was but three. 

"Allah Kerim! God graut that thy shadow may 
never grow less, most mighty Padishah ! " said Damad 
Ibrahim, and with that he kissed the hand of the 
Grand Seignior, and both he and the Chief Mufti 

At the gate of the Seraglio the Chief Mufti said 
to the Grand Vizier sorrowfully : 

"It had been better for us both had we never 
grown grey ! " 

But Sultan Achmed, accompanied by the Bos- 
tanjik, hastened to the gardens of the grove of 
puspang-trees to look at his tulips. 



Worthy Halil Patrona had become quite a by-word 
with his fellows. The name he now went by in the 
bazaars was : The Slave of the Slave-Girl. This did 
not hurt him in the least; on the contrary, the 
result was, that more people came to smoke their 
chibooks and buy tobacco at his shop than ever. 
Everybody was desirous of making the acquaintance 
of the Mussulman who would not so much as lay a 
. hand upon a slave-girl whom he had bought with 
his own money, nay more, who did all the work of 
the house instead of her, just as if she had bought 
him instead of his buying her. ••> 

In the neighbourhood of Patrona dwelt Musli, a 
veteran Janissary, who filled up his spare time by 
devoting himself to the art of slipper-stitching. 
This man often beheld Halil prowling about on the 
house-top in the moon-lit nights where Gül-Bejáze 
was sleeping, and after sitting down within a couple 
of paces of her, remain there in a brown study for 
hours at a time, often till midnight, nay, sometimes 


till daybreak. With his chin resting in the palm of 
his hand there he would stay, gazing intently at her 
charming figure and her pale but beautiful face. Fre- 
quently he would creep closer to her, creep so near 
that his lips would almost touch her face ; but then 
he would throw back his head again, and if at such 
times the slave-girl half awoke from her slumbers, he 
would beckon to her to go to sleep again — nobody 
should disturb her. 

Hahl did not trouble his head in the least about 
all this gossip. It was noticed, indeed, that his face 
was somewhat paler than it used to be, but if anyone 
ventured to jest with him on the subject, face to face, 
he was very speedily convinced that Halil's arms, at 
any rate, were no weaker than of yore. 

One day he was sitting, as usual, at the door of 
his booth, paying Httle attention to the people coming 
and going around him, and staring abstractedly with 
wide and wandering eyes into space, as if his gaze 
was fixed upon something above his head, when some- 
body who had approached him so softly as to take 
him quite unawares, very affectionately greeted him 
with the words : 

"Well, my dear Chorbadshi, how are you?" 

Patrona looked in the direction of the voice, and 
saw in front of him his mysterious guest of the other 
day — the Greek Janal^i. 


" Ah, 'tis thou, musafir ! I searched for you every- 
where for two whole days after you left me, for I 
wanted to give you back the five thousand piastres 
which you were fool enough to make me a present 
of. It was just as well, however, that I did not find 
you, and I have long ceased looking for you, for I 
have now spent all the money." 

" I am glad to hear it, Halil, and I hope the money 
has done you a good turn. Are you willing to 
receive me into your house as a guest once more ? " 

" With pleasure ! But you must first of all promise 
me two things. The first is, that you will not contrive 
by some crafty device to pay me something for what 
I give you gratis ; and the second is, that you will 
not expect to stay the night with me, but will wander 
across the street and pitch your tent at the house of 
my worthy neighbour Musli, who is also a bachelor, 
and mends slippers, and is therefore a very worthy 
and respectable man." 

" And why may I not sleep at your house ? " 

" Because you must know that there are now two 
of us in the house — I and my slave-girl." 

" That will not matter a bit, Halil. I will sleep 
on the roof, and you take the slave-girl down with 
you into the house." 

" It cannot be so, Janaki ! it cannot be." 

"Why can it not be?" 


" Because I would rather sleep in a pit into which 
a tiger has fallen, I would rather sleep in the lair of 
a hippopotamus, I would rather sleep in a canoe 
guarded by alligators and crocodiles, I would rather 
spend a night in a cellar full of scorpions and scolo- 
pendras, or in the Tower of Surem, which is haunted 
by the accursed Jinns, than pass a single night in the 
same room with this slave-girl." 

"Why; what's this, Halil? you fill me with 
amazement. Surely, it cannot be that you are that 
Mussulman of whom all Pera is talking? — the man I 
mean who purchased a slave-girl in order to be her 
slave?" P, 

"It is as you say. But 'twere better not to talk 
of that matter at all Those five thousand piastres 
of yours are the cause of it; they have ruined me 
out and out. My mind is going backwards I think. 
When people come to my shop to buy wares of me, 
I give them such answers to their questions that they 
laugh at me. Let us change the subject, let us rather 
talk of your affairs. Have you found your daughter 

It was now Janaki's turn to sigh. 

"I have sought her everywhere, and nowhere can 
I find her." 

" How did you lose her? " 

*' One Saturday she went with some companions on 


a pleasure excursion in the Sea of Marmora in a 
sailing-boat. Their music and dancing attracted a 
Turkish pirate to the spot, and in the midst of a 
peaceful empire he stole all the girls, and contrived 
to dispose of them so secretly that I have never been 
able to find any trace of them. I am now disposed 
to believe that she was taken to the Sultan's Seraglio." 
" You will never get her out of there then." 
Janaki sighed deeply. 

"You think, then, that I shall never get at her if 
she is there ? " and he shook his head sadly. 

** Not unless the Janissaries, or the Debejis, or the 
Bostanjis lay their heads together and agree to 
depose the Sultan." 

" Who would even dare to think of such a thing, 

"I would ii'77iy daughter were detained in the 
harem against her will and against mine also. But 
that is not at all in your line, Janaki. You have never 
shed any blood but the blood of sheep and oxen, but 
let me tell you this, Janaki : if I were as rich a man 
as you are, trust me for finding a way of getting my 
girl out of the very Seraglio itself. Wealth is a 
mightier force than valour." 

" I pray you, speak not so loudly. One of your 
neighbours might hear you, and would think nothing 
of felling me to the earth to get my money. For I 


carry a great deal of money about with me, and am 
always afraid of being robbed of it. In front of the 
bazaar a slave is awaiting me with a mule. On the 
back of that mule are strung two jars seemingly filled 
with dried dates. Let me tell you that those jars are 
really half-filled with gold pieces, the dates are only 
at the top. I should like to deposit them at your 
house. I suppose your slave-girl will not pry too 
closely ? " 

" You can safely leave them with me. If you tell 
her not to look at them she will close her eyes every 
time she passes the jars." 

Meanwhile Patrona had closed his booth and 
invited his guest to accompany him homewards. On 
the way thither he looked in at the house of his 
neighbour, the well-mannered Janissary, who mended 
slippers. Musli willingly offered HaliFs guest a 
night's lodging. In return Patrona invited him to 
share with him a small dish of well-seasoned pilaf 
and a few cups of a certain forbidden fluid, which 
invitation the worthy Janissary accepted with 

And now they crossed Halil's threshold. 

Gül-Bejáze was standing by the fire-place getting 

ready Halil's supper when the guests entered, and 

hearing footsteps turned round to see who it might be. 

The same instant the Greek wayfarer uttered a 


loud cry, and pitching his long hat into the air, 
rushed towards the slave-girl, and flinging himself 
down on his knees before her fell a-kissing, again 
and again, her hands and arms, and at last her pale 
face also, while the girl flung herself upon his shoulder 
and embraced the fellow's neck ; and then the pair 
of them began to weep, and the words, " My 
daughter ! " " My father ! " could be heard from time 
to time amidst their sobs. 

Halil could only gaze at them open-mouthed. 
But Janaki, still remaining on his knees, raised his 
hands to Heaven, and gave thanks to God for guiding 
his footsteps to this spot. 

"Allah Akbar! The Lord be praised!" said 
Patrona in his turn, and he drew nearer to them. 
" So her whom you have so long sought after you 
And in my house, ch? Allah preordained it. And 
you may thank God for it, for you receive her back 
from me unharmed by me. Take her away there- 
fore ! " 

" You say not well, Halil," cried the father, his face 
radiant with joy. " So far from giving her back to 
me you shall keep her ; yes, she shall remain yours 
for ever. For if I were thrice to traverse the whole 
earth and go in a different direction each time, I 
certainly should not come across another man like 
you- Tell me, therefore, what price you put upon 


her that I may buy her back, and give her to you to 
wife as a free woman ? " 

Hahl did not consider very long what price he 
should ask, so far as he was concerned the business 
was settled already. He cast but a single look on 
Gül-Bejáze's smiling lips, and asked for a kiss from 
them — that was the only price he demanded. 

Janaki seized his daughter's hand and placed it 
in the hand of Halil. 

And now Halil held the warm, smooth little hand 
in his own big paw, he felt its reassuring pressure, 
he saw the girl smile, he saw her lips open to return 
his kiss, and still he did not believe his eyes — still 
he shuddered at the reflection that when his lips 
should touch hers, the girl would suddenly die away, 
become pale and cold. Only when his lips at last 
came into contact with her burning lips and her 
bosom throbbed against his bosom, and he felt his 
kiss returned and the warm pulsation of her heart, 
then only did he really believe in his own happiness, 
and held her for a long — oh, so long! — time to his 
own breast, and pressed his lips to her lips over and 
over again, and was happier — happier by far — than 
the dwellers in Paradise. 

And after that they made the girl sit down between 
them, with her father on one side and her husband 
on the other, and they took her hands and caressed 


and fondled her to her heart's content. The poor 
maid was quite beside herself with delight. She kept 
receiving kisses and caresses, first on the right hand 
and then on the left, and her face was pale no longer, 
but of a burning red hke the transfigured rose where- 
on a drop of the blood of great Aphrodite fell. And 
she promised her father and her husband that she 
would tell them such a lot of things — things wondrous, 
unheard of, of which they had not and never could 
have the remotest ideaj. .--Vs 

And through the thin iron shutters which covered 
the window the Berber-Bashi curiously observed the 
touching scene ! 

They were still in the midst of their intoxication 
of delight when the frequently before-mentioned 
neighbour of Halil, worthy Musli, thrust his head 
inside the door, and witnessing the scene would 
discreetly have withdrawn his perplexed countenance. 
But Halil, who had already caught sight of him, 
bawled him a vociferous welcome. 

" Nay, come along ! come along ! my worthy neigh- 
bour, don't stand on any ceremony with us, you can 
see for yourself how merry we are ! " 

The worthy neighbour thereupon gingerly entered, 
on the tips of his toes, with his hands fumbling 
nervously about in the breast of his kaftan ; for the 
poor fellow's hands were resinous to a degree. Wash 


and scrub them as he might, the resin would persist 
in cleaving to them. His awl, too, was still sticking 
in the folds of his turban — sticking forth aloft right 
gallantly like some heron's plume. Naturally he 
whose business it was to mend other men's shoes 
went about in slippers that were mere bundles of 
rags — that is always the way with cobblers! 

When he saw Gül-Bejáze on Halil's lap, and 
Halil's face beaming all over with joy, he smote his 
hands together and fell a-wondering. 

" There must be some great changes going on 
here ! " thought he. 

But Halil compelled him to sit down beside them, 
and after kissing Gül-Bejáze again — apparently he 
could not kiss the girl enough — he cried: 

" Look ! my dear neighbour ! she is now my wife, 
and henceforth she will love me as her husband, 
and I shall no longer be the slave of my slave. And 
this worthy man here is my wife's father. Greet 
them, therefore, and then be content to eat and drink 
with us!" 

Then Musli approached Janaki and saluted him on 
the shoulder, then, turning towards Gül-Bejáze, he 
touched with his hand first the earth and next his 
forehead, sat down beside Janaki on the cushions that 
had been drawn into the middle of the room, and 
made merry with them. 


And now Janaki sent the slave he had brought 
with him to the pastry-cook's while Musli skipped 
homewards and brought with him a tambourine of 
chased silver, which he could beat right cunningly and 
also accompany it with a voice not without feeling; 
and thus Halil's bridal evening flowed pleasantly away 
with an accompaniment of wine and music and kisses. 

And all this time the worthy Berber-Bashi was 
looking on at this junketing through the trellised 
window, and could scarce restrain himself from giving 
expression to his astonishment when he perceived 
that Gül-Bejáze no longer collapsed like a dead thing 
at the contact of a kiss, or even at the pressure of 
an embrace, as she was wont to do in the harem, 
indeed her face had now grown rosier than the dawn. 

At lasit his curiosity completely overcame him, and 
turning the handle of the door he appeared in the 
midst of the revellers. 

He wore the garb of a common woodcutter, and 
his simple, foolish face corresponded excellently to 
the disguise. Nobody in the world could have taken 
him for anything but what he now professed to be, 
and it was with a very humble obeisance that he intro- 
duced himself. 

"Allah Kerim! Salaam aleikum! God*s blessing 
go with your mirth. Why, you were so merry that I 
heard you at the cemetery yonder as I was passing. 


If it will not put you out I should be delighted to 
remain here, as long as you will let me, that I may 
listen to the music this worthy Mussulman here under- 
stands so well, and to the pretty stories which flow 
from the harmonious lips of this houri who has, I 
am persuaded, come down from Paradise for the 
delight of men." 

Now Musli was drunk with wine, Gül-Bejáze 
and Halil Patrona were drunk with love, so that not 
one of them had any exception to take to the 
stranger's words. Janaki was the only sober man 
among them, neither wine nor love had any attraction 
for him, and therefore he whispered in the ear of Halil : 

" For all you know this stranger may be a spy or 
a thief!" 

" What an idea ! " Halil whispered back, " why you 
can see for yourself that he is only an honest baltaji.* 
Sit down, oh, worthy Mussulman," he continued, turn- 
ing to the stranger, "and make one of our little party." 

The Berber-Bashi took him^ at his word. He ate 
and drank hke one who has gone hungry for three 
whole days, he was enchanted with the tambourine of 
Musli, listened with open mouth to his story of the 
miserly shppers, and laughed as heartily as if he had 
never heard it at least a hundred times before. 

" And now you tell us some tale, most beautiful of 

• Woodcutter. 


women ! " said he, wiping the tears from his eyes as 
he turned towards the damsel, and then Gül-Bejáze, 
after first kissing her husband and sipping from the 
beaker extended to her just enough to moisten her 
hps, thus began : 

" Once upon a time there was a rich merchant. 
Where he hvcd I know not. It might have been 
Pera, or Galata, or Damascus. Nor can I tell you 
his name, but that has nothing to do with the story. 
This merchant had an only daughter whom he loved 
most dearly. She had ne'er a wish that was not 
instantly gratified, and he guarded her as the very 
apple of his eye. Not even the breath of Heaven 
was allowed to blow upon her." 

" And know you not what the name of the maiden 
was?" inquired the Berber-Bashi. 

" Certainly, they called her Irene, for she was a 
Greek girl." 

Janaki trembled at the word. No doubt the girl 
was about to relate her own story, for Irene was the 
very name she had received at her baptism. It was 
very thoughtless of her to betray herself in the pres- 
ence of a stranger. 

" One day," continued the maiden, " Irene went 
a-rowing on the sea v/ith some girl friends. The 
weather was fine, the sea smooth, and they sang their 
songs and made merry to their hearts' content 



Suddenly the sail of a corsair appeared on the smooth 
mirror of the ocean, pounced straight down upon the 
maidens in their boat, and before they could reach 
the nearest shore, they were all seized ajnd carried 
away captive. 

" Poor Irene ! she was not even able to bid her 
dear father God speed! Her thoughts were with 
him as the pirate-ship sped swiftly aw^ay with her, 
and she saw the city where he dwelt recede further 
and further away in the dim distance. Alas! he was 
waiting for her now — and would wait in vain ! Her 
father, she knew it, was standing outside his door and 
asking every passer-by if he had not seen his little 
daughter coming. A banquet had been prepared for 
her at home, and all the invited guests were already 
there, but still no sign of her! And now she could 
see him coming down to the sea-shore, and sweep 
the smooth shining watery mirror with his eyes in 
every direction, and ask the sailor-men : ' Where is 
my daughter? Do you know anything about her? ' " 

Here the eyes of the father and the husband in- 
voluntarily filled with tears. 

" Wherefore do you weep ? How silly of you ! 
Why, you know, of course, it is only a tale. Listen 
now to how it goes on! The robber carried the 
maiden he had stolen to Stambul. He took her 
straight to the Kizlar-Aga whose office it is to pur- 


chase slave-girls for the harem of the Padishah. 
The bargaining did not take long. The Kizlar-Aga 
paid down at once the price which the slave-merchant 
demanded, and forthwith handed Irene over to the 
slave-women of the Seraglio, who immediately con- 
ducted her to a bath fragrant with perfumes. Her 
face, her figure, her charms, amazed them exceedingly, 
and they lifted up their voices and praised her loudly. 
But when Irene heard their praises she shuddered, 
and her heart died away within her. Surely God 
never gave her beauty in order that she might be 
sacrificed to it? At that moment she would have 
much preferred to have been born humpbacked, 
squinting, swarthy; she would have hked her face 
to be all seamed and scarred like half-frozen water, 
and her body all diseased so that everyone who saw 
her would shrink from her with disgust — better that 
than the feeling which now made her shrink from 
the contemplation of herself. 

" Then they put upon her a splendid robe, hung 
diamond ear-rings in her ears, tied a beautiful shawl 
round her loins, encircled her arms and feet with 
rings of gold, and so led her into the secret apart- 
ment where the damsels of the Padishah were all 
gathered together. This, of course, was long, long 
ago. Who can tell what Sultan was reigning then? 
Why, even our fathers did not know ins name. 


" Pomp and splendour, flowers and curtains adorned 
the immense saloon, the ceiling whereof was inlaid 
with precious stones, while the floor was fashioned 
entirely of mother-o'-pearl — he who set his foot 
thereon might fancy he was walking on rainbows. 
Moreover, cunning artificers had wrought upon this 
mother-o'-pearl floor flowers and birds and other most 
wondrous fantastical figures, so that it was a joy to 
look thereon, for no carpet, however precious, was 
suffered to cover all this splendour. Yet lest the 
cold surface of the pavement should chill the feet of 
the damsels, rows of tiny sandals stood ready there 
that they might bind them upon their feet and so 
walk from one end of the room to the other at their 
ease. And these sandads they called kobkobs!' 

" Aye, aye ! " cried the anxious Janaki, " you 
describe the interior of the Seraglio so vividly that 
I almost feel frightened. If a man listened long 
enough to such a tale he might easily get to feel as 
guilty as if he had actually cast an eye into the 
Sultan's harem, and 'twere best for him to die rather 
than do that." 

"Is it not a tale that I am telling you? is not the 
room I have just described to you but a creature of 
the imagination? — In the centre of this saloon, then, 
was a large fountain, whence fragrant rose-water 
ascended into the air sporting with the golden balls. 


Along the whole length of the walls were immense 
Venetian mirrors, in which splendid odahsks admired 
their own shapely limbs. Hundreds and hundreds 
of lamps slione upon the pillars which supported the 
room — lamps of manifold colours — which gave to the 
vast chamber the magic hues of a fairy palace, and 
in the midst thereof seemed to float a transparent 
blue cloud — it was the light smoke of ambergris and 
spices v/hich the damsels blew forth from their long 
nargliilis. But what impressed Irene far more than 
ail this magnificence, was the figure of the Sultana 
Asseki, to whom she was nov/ conducted. A tall, 
muscular lady was sitting at the end of the room on 
a raised divan. Her figure was slender round the 
waist but broad and round about the shoulders. Her 
■snow-white arms and neck were encircled by rows 
of real pearls with diamond clasps. A lofty heron's 
plume nodded on her bejewelled turban, and lent a 
still haughtier aspect to that majestic form. With 
her large black eyes she seemed to be in tlie habit 
of ruling the whole world." 

"Yes, yes!" exclaimcidl Janaki, "you describe it 
all so vividly that I am half afraid of sitting down 
here and listening to you. You might at* least have 
let a little bit of a veil hang in front of her face." 

" But this happened long, long ago, remember ! 
Who can even say under what Sultan it took place? 


. . . So they led the slave-girl into the presence of 
the Sultana, who was surrounded by two hundred 
other slave-girls, and was playing with a tiny dwarf. 
They were singing and dancing all around her and 
swinging censers. Above her head was a large fruit- 
tree made entirely of sugar, and covered with sugar- 
fruit of every shape and hue, and from time to time 
the Sultana would pluck off one of these fruits and 
taste a little bit of it and give the remainder to the 
tiny dwarf, who ate up everything greedily. Here 
Irene was seized by a black eunuch — a horrid, pock- 
marked man, whose upper lip was split right down 
so that all his teeth could be seen." 

" Just like the present Kizlar-Aga ! " cried Musli 
laughing, " I fancy I can see him standing before me 
now ! " 

" The Moor commanded Irene to fall on her face 
before the Sultana. Irene fell on her face accord- 
ingly, and while her forehead beat the ground before 
the Sultana she muttered to herself the words : 
' Holy Mother of God ! protectress of virgins, thou 
seest me in this place, when I call upon thee, deliver 
me ! ' The Sultana, meanwhile, had commanded her 
handmaidens to let down Irene's tresses, and as she 
stood before her there covered by her own hair from 
head to heel, she bade them paint her face red 
because it was so pale, and her eyelashes brown. She 


commanded them also to salve her hair with fragrant 
unguents, and to hang chains of real pearls about her 
arms and neck. Irene knew not the meaning of these 
things. She knew not what they meant to do with 
her till the Kizlar-Aga approached her, and said these 
words to her in a reassuring tone : ' Rejoice, fortunate 
damsel! for a great felicity awaits thee. In a week's 
time it will be the Feast of Bairam, and the favourite 
Sultana has chosen thee from among the other 
odahsks as a gift for the Padishah. Rejoice, there- 
fore, I say.' But Irene at these words would fain 
have died. And in the meantime the Sultana had 
placed a large fan in her hand made entirely of pea- 
cocks' feathers, and permitted her to sit down by her 
side and hold the little dwarf in her lap. At a later 
.day Irene discovered that this was a mark of supreme 
condescension. During the next six days the damsel 
lived amidst mortal terrors. Her companions envied 
her. The damsels of the harem do not love each 
other, they can only hate. Every day she beheld 
the Sultan, whose gentle face inspired involuntary 
respect, but the very idea of loving him filled her 
soul with horror. The Sultan spent the greater part 
of his time with his favourite wife, but it happened 
sometimes that he cast a handkerchief towards this 
or that odalisk, which was a great piece of good 
fortune for her, or the reverse — it all depends upon 


the point of view. The damsel whom the Grand 
Seignior seemed to favour the most was a beautiful 
blonde Italian g^irl ; on one occasian this beautiful 
blonde damsel neglected to cast her eyes down as 
they chanced to encounter the eyes of the Sultana. 
The following day Irene could not see this damsel 
anywhere, and on inquiring after her was told by her 
bedfellow in a whisper that she had been strangled 
during the night. And oftentimes at dead of night 
the silence would be broken by a shriek from the 
secret dungeon of the Seraglio, followed by the sound 
of something splashing into the water, and regularly, 
on the day following every such occurrence, a familiar 
face would be missins: from the Seraglio. All these 
victims were self-conhdent slave-girls, who had been 
unable to conceal their joy at the Sultan's favours, 
and therefore had been cast into the water. Nobody 
ever inquired about them any more." 

Janaki shivered all over. 

" It is well that this is all a tale," he observed. 

But Gül-Bejáze only continued her story. 

" At last the Feast of Bairam arrived, and through- 
out the day all the cannons on the Bosphorus sent 
forth their thunders. In the evening the Sultan came 
to the Seraglio weary and inclined to relaxation, and 
then the Sultana Asseki took Irene by the hand and 
conducted her to the Padishah, and presented her 


to him, together with gold-embroidered garments, pre- 
served fruits, and other gifts intended for his delecta- 
tion. The Grand Seignior regarded the girl tenderly, 
while she, like a kid of the flocks offered to a lion 
in a cage, stood trembling before him. But when 
the Sultan seized her hand to draw her towards him 
she sighed : ' Blessed Virgin ! ' — and lo ! at these 
words her face grew pale, her eyes closed, and she 
fell to the ground as one dead. This was not the 
first time that such a spectacle had been seen in the 
harem. Everyone of the damsels brought thither 
generally commenced with a fainting-fit. The slave- 
girls immediately came running up to her, rubbed her 
body with fragrant unguents, applied penetrating 
essences to her face, let icy-cold water trickle down 
upon her bosom — and all was useless! The dam.sel 
did not awaken, and lay there like a corpse till the 
following morning — in fact, she never stirred from 
the spot where they laid her down. Next day tlie 
Padishah again summoned her to his presence. He 
spoke to her in the most tender manner. He 
gave her all manner of beautiful gifts, glittering 
raiment, necklaces, bracelets, and diamond aigrettes. 
The slave-girls, too, censed her all around with stupe- 
fying perfumes, bathed her in warm baths fragrant 
with ambergris and spikenard, and gave her fiery 
potions to drink. But it was all in vain. At the 


name of the Blessed Virgin, the blood ceased to flow 

to her heart, she fell down, died away, and every 

resource of ingenuity failed to arouse her. The same 

thing happened on the third day likewise. Then the 

Sultana Asseki's wrath was kindled greatly against 

her. She declared that this was no doing of Allah's 

as they might suppose. No, it was the damsel's own 

evil temper which made her pretend to be dead, and 

she immediately commanded that the damsel should 

be tortured. First of all they extended her stark 

naked on the icy-cold marble pavement — not a sign 

of life, not a shiver did she give. Then they held 

her over a slow fire on a gridiron — she never moved 

a muscle. Then they sent and sought for red ants 

in the garden among the puspáng-trees and scattered 

them all over her body. Yet the girl never once 

quaked beneath the stings of the poisonous insects. 

Finally they thrust sharp needles down to the very 

quicks of her nails, and still the damsel did not stir. 

Then the Sultana Asseki, full of fury, seized a whip, 

and lashed away at the damsel's body till she could 

kisli no more, yet she could not thrash a soul into 

the lifeless body." 

" By Allah ! " cried Halil, smiting the table with 
his heavy fist at this point of the narration, '' that 
Sultana deserves to be sewn up in a leather sack and 
cast into the Eosphorus." 


" Why, 'tis only a tale, you know," said Gül-Bejáze, 
stroking mockingly the chin of worthy Halil Patrona, 
and then she resumed her story. " The Sultan com- 
manded that Irene should be expelled from the harem, 
for he had no desire to see this living corpse any- 
where near him, and the Sultana gave her as a present 
to the Padishah's nephew, the son of his own brother. 

" The prince was a pale, handsome youth, as those 
whom women love much are generally wont to be. 
He was kept in a remote part of the Seraglio, for 
although every joy of life was his, and he was sur- 
rounded by wealth, pomp, and slave-girls, he was 
never permitted to quit the Seraglio. The Sultana 
herself led Irene to him, thinking that the fme eyes 
of the handsome youth would be the best talisman 
against the enchantment obsessing the charms of the 
strange damsel. The pale prince was charmed with 
the looks of the girl. He coaxed and flattered. He 
begged and implored her not to die away beneath 
his kisses and embraces. In vain. The girl swooned 
at the very first touch, and he who touched her lips 
might just as well have touched the lips of a corpse. 
The prince knelt down beside her, and implored her 
with tears to come to herself again. She heard not 
and she answered not. At last the fair Sultana 
Asseki herself had compassion on his tears and 
lamentations which produced no impression on the 


dead. Her heart bled for him. She bent over the 
pale prince, embraced him tenderly, and comforted 
him with her caresses. And the prince allowed him- 
self to be comforted, and they rejoiced greatly 
together ; for of course there was nobody present to 
see them, for the senseless damsel on the floor might 
have been a corpse so far as they v/ere concerned." 

" Hum ! " murmured the Berber-Eashi to himself, 
" this is a thing well worth remembering." 

" On the following day the pale prince made a 
present of Irene to the Grand Vizier. The Grand 
Vizier also rejoiced greatly at the sight of the damsel ; 
took her into his cellar, showed her there three great 
vats full of gold and precious stones, and told her 
that all these things should be hers if only she would 
love him. Then he took and showed her the multi- 
tude of precious ornaments that he had concealed 
beneath the flooring of his palace, and promised these 
to her also. For every kiss she should give him, he 
offered her one of his palaces on the shores of the 
Sweet Waters, yes, for every kiss a palace." 

" I would burn all these palaces to the ground ! " 
cried Halil impetuously. 

" Nay, nay, my son, be sensible ! " said Janaki. He 
himself now began to feel that there was something 
more than a mere tale in all this. 

But the Berber-Bashi pricked up his ears and grew 


terribly attentive when mention was made of the 
hidden treasures of the Grand Vizier. 

" The sight of the treasures," resumed the girl, " had 
no effect upon Irene. She never failed to invoke 
the name of the Blessed Virgin whenever the face of 
a man drew near to her face, and the Blessed Virgin 
always wrought a miracle in her behalf." 

" 'Tis my belief," said Hahl, " that there were no 
miracles at all in the matter ; but that the girl had 
so strong a will that by an effort she miade herself 
dead to all tortures." 

"At last they came to a definite decision concern- 
ing this slave-girl, it was resolved to sell her by 
public auction in the bazaars — to sell her as a common 
slave to the highest bidder. And so Irene fell to a 
poor hawker who gave his all for her. For a whole 
month this man left his slave-girl untouched, and the 
girl who could not be subdued by torture, nor the 
blandishments of great men, nor by treasures, nor 
by ardent desire, became very fond of the poor coster- 
monger, and no longer became as one dead when Jiis 
burning hps were impressed upon her face." 

And with that Gül-Bejáze embraced her husband 
and kissed him again and again, and smiled upon 
him with her large radiant eyes. 

" A very pretty story truly ! " observed Musli, 
smacking his lips ; " what a pity there is not more 
of It ! " 


" Oh, no regrets, worthy Mussulman, there is more 
of it ! " cried the Berber-Bashi, rising from his place ; 
" just listen to the sequel of it ! Having had the girl 
sold by auction in the bazaar, the Padishah bade Ali 
Kermesh, his trusty Berber-Bashi, make inquiries and 
see what happened to the damsel after the sale. 
Now the Berber-Bashi knew that the girl had only 
pretended to faint, and the Berber-Bashi brought the 
girl back to the Seraglio before she had spent a 
single night alone with her husband. For I am the 
Berber-Bashi and thou art Gül-Bejáze, that same 
slave-girl going by the name of Irene who feigned 
to be dead." 

Everyone present leaped in terror to his feet except 
Janaki, who fell down on his knees before the Berber- 
Bashi, embraced his knees, and implored him to treat 
all that the girl had said as if he had not heard 

" We are lost ! " whispered the bloodless Gül- 
Bejáze. The intoxication of joy and wine had 
suddenly left her and she was sober once more. 

Janaki implored, Musli cursed and swore, but Halil 
spake never a word. He held his wife tightly em- 
braced in his arms and he thought within himself, I 
would rather allow my hand to be chopped off than 
let her go. 

Janaki promised money and loads of treasure to 


Ali Kermesh if only he would hold his tongue, say 
nothing of what had happened, and let the girl re- 
main with her husband. 

But the Bcrber-Bashi was inexorable. 

" No," said he, " I will take away the girl, and your 
treasures also shall be mine. Ye are the children 
of Death ; yea, all of you who are now drawing the 
breath of life in this house, for to have heard the 
secret that this slave-girl has blabbed out is sufficient 
to kill anyone thrice over. I command you, Irene, 
to take up your veil and follow me, and you others 
must remain here till the Debedzik with the cord 
comes to fetch you also." 

With these words he cast Janaki from him, 
approached the damsel and seized her hand. Halil 
never once relaxed his embrace. 

" Come with me ! " 

"Blessed IMary ! Blessed Mary!" moaned tlic 

" Your guardian saints are powerless to help you 
now, for your husband's lips have touched you ; come 
with me ! " 

Then only did Halil speak. His voice was so 
deep, gruff, and stern, that those who heard it scarce 
recognised it for his : 

"Leave go of my wife, Ali Kermesh ! " cried 


" Silence thou dog ! in another hour thou wilt be 
hanging up before thine own gate." 

" Once more I ask you — leave go of my wife, Ali 
Kermesh 1 " 

Instead of answering, the Berber-Bashi would, with 
one hand, have torn the wife from her husband's 
bosom while he clutched hold of Halil with the other, 
whereupon Halil brought down his iist so heavily on 
the skull of the Berber-Bashi that he instantly 
collapsed without uttering a single word. 

" What have you done ? " cried Janaki in terror. 
" You have killed the chief barber of the Sultan ! " 

" Yes, I rather fancy I have," replied Halil coolly. 

Musli rushed towards the prostrate form of Ali 
Kermesh, felt him all over very carefully, and then 
turned towards the hearth where the others were 

" Dead he is, there is no doubt about it. He's as 
dead as a door-nail. Well, Halil, that was a fine blow 
of yours I must say. By the Prophet! one does not 
see a blow like that every day. With your bare hand 
too! To kill a man with nothing but your empty 
fist 1 If a cannon-ball had knocked him over he could 
not be deader than he is." 

" But what shall we do now? " cried Janaki, looking 
around him with tremulous terror. " The Sultan is 
sure to send and make inquiries about his lost Berber- 


Bashi. It is known that he came here in disguise. 
The affair cannot long remain hidden." 

" There is no occasion to fear anything," said Mush 
reassuringly. " Good counsel is cheap. We can 
easily find a way out of it. Before the business comes 
to light, we will go to the Etmeidan and join the 
Janissaries. There let them send and fetch us if they 
dare, for we shall be in a perfectly safe place anyhow. 
Why, don't you remember that only last year the 
rebel, Esref Khan, whom the Padishah had been 
pursuing to the death, even in foreign lands, hit, at 
last, upon the idea of resorting to the Janissaries, and 
was safer against the fatal silken cord here, in the 
very midst of Stambul, than if he had fled all the 
way to the Isle of Rhodes for refuge. Let us all 
become Janissaries, I and you and Janaki also." 

But Janaki kicked vigorously against the proposi- 

" You two may go over to the Janissaries if you 
like, but in the meantime my daughter and I will 
make our escape to the Isle of Tenedos and there 
await tidings of you. One jar of dates I will take 
with me, the other you may divide among the 
Janissaries ; it will put them in a good humour and 
make them receive you more amicably." 

Halil embraced his wife, kissed her, and wept over 
her. There was not much time for leave-taking. 



The Debedjis who had accompanied the Berber- 
Bashi were beginning to grow impatient at the pro- 
longed absence of their master ; they could be heard 
stamping about around the door. 

" Hasten, hasten ! we can have too much of this 
hugging and kissing," whispered Musli, hfting one of 
the jars on to his shoulders. 

Yet Halil pressed one more long, long kiss on 
Gül-Bejáze's trembling cheek. 

" By Allah ! " said he, " it shall not be long before 
we see each other again." 

And thus their ways parted right and left 

Musli conducted Janaki away in one direction, 
through a subterranean cellar, whilst Halil fled away 
across the house-tops, and within a quarter of an hour 
the pair of them arrived at the Etmeidan. 



What a noise, what a commotion in the streets of 
Stambul ! The multitude pours Hke a stream towards 
the harbour of the Golden Horn. Young and old 
stimulate each other with looks of excitement and 
enthusiasm. They stand together at the corners of 
the streets in tens and twenties, and tell each other 
of the great event that has happened. On the 
Etmeidan, in front of the Seraglio, in the doors of 
the mosques, the people are swarming, and from street 
to street they accompany the banner-bearing Diil- 
bendar, who proclaims to the faithful amidst the 
flourish of trumpets that Sultan Achmed III. has 
declared war against Tamasip, Shah of Persia. 

Everywhere faces radiant with enthusiasm, every- 
where shouts of martial fervour. 

From time to time a regiment of Janissaries or a 
band of Albanian horsemen passes across the street, or 
escorts the buffaloes that drag after them the long 
heavy guns on wheeled carriages. The mob in its 


thousands follows them along the road leading to 
Scutari, where the camp has already been pitched. 
For at last, at any rate, the Padishah is surfeited with 
so many feasts and illuminations, and after having 
postponed the raising of the banner of the Prophet, 
under all sorts of frivolous excuses, from the i8th 
day of Safer (2nd of September) to the ist day of 
Rebusler, and from that day again to the Prophet's 
birthday ten days later still, the expected, the ap- 
pointed day is at length dravv^ing near, and the whole 
host is assembling beneath the walls of Scutari, only 
awaiting the arrival of the Sultan to take ship at 
once — the transports are all ready — and hasten to the 
assistance of the heroic Kiiprilizade on the battleheld. 

The whole Bosphorus v/as a living forest planted 
with a maze of huge masts and spreading sails, and 
a thousand variegated flags flew and flapped in the 
morning breeze. The huge line of battle-ships, with 
their triple decks and their long rows of oars, looked 
like hundred-eyed sea-monsters swimming with hun- 
dreds of legs on the surface of the water, and the 
booming reverberation of the thunder of their guns 
was re-echoed from the broad foreheads of the palaces 
looking into the Bosphorus. 

Everywhere along the sea-front was to be seen 
an armed multitude ; sparkling swords and lances in 
thousands flash back the rays of the sun. The whole 


of the grass plain round about was planted with tents 
of every hue ; white tents for the chief muftis, bright 
green tents for the viziers, scarlet tents for the 
kiayaks, dark bkic tents for the great officers of state, 
the Emirs, the Mecca, IMcdina, and Stambul justi- 
ciaries, the Defterdars, and) the Nishandji ; hlac- 
coloured tents for the Ulemas, bright blue tents for 
the Miideresseks, azure-blue tents for the Ciaus-Agas, 
and dark green designates the tent of the Emir Alem, 
the bearer of the sacred standard. And high above 
them all on a hillock towers the orange-coloured 
pavilion of the Padishah, with gold and purple hang- 
ings, and two and three fold horse-tails planted in 
front of the entrance. 

At sunset yesterday there was not a trace of this 
vast camp, all night long this city of tents was a- 
building, and at dawn of day there it stands all ready 
like the creation of a magician's wand! 

The plain is occupied by the Spahis, the finest, 
smartest horsemen of the whole host ; along the sea- 
front are ranged the topidjis, with their rows and 
rows of cannons. Other detachm.ents of these 
gunners are distributed among the various hillocks. 
On the wings of the host arc placed the Albanian 
cavalry, the Tartars, and the Druses of Iloran. The 
centre of the host belongs of right to the flower, the 
kernel of the imperial army — the haughty Janissaries. 


Aiid certainly they seemed to be very well aware 
that they were the cream of the host, and that there- 
fore it was not lawful for any other division of the 
army to draw near them, much less mingle with them, 
unless it were a few delisy whom they permitted to 
roam up and down their ranks full of crazy exaltation. 

The whole host is full of the joy of battle, and if, 
from time to time, fierce shouts and thunderous mur- 
murings arise from this or that battalion, that only 
means that they are rejoicing at the tidings of the 
declaration of war : the war-ships express their satis- 
faction by loud salvoes. 

Sultan Achmed, meanwhile, is eng^asfed in his morn- 
ing devotions, day by day he punctually observes this 
pious practice. 

The previous night he did not spend in the harem, 
but shut himself up with his viziers and counsellors 
in that secret chamber of the Divan, which is roofed 
over with a golden cupola. Grave were their de- 
liberations, but nobody, except the viziers, knows the 
result thereof; yet when he issues forth from his 
prayer-chamber the Kizlar-Aga is already awaiting 
him there and hands the Sultan a signet-ring. 

" Most glorious of Padishahs ! the most dehcious 
of women sends thee this ring. Well dost thou 
know what was beneath this rhig. Deadly venom 
was beneath it. That venom is no longer there. The 

THE CA^IP. 103 

Sultana Asseki sends thee her greetnig, and wishes 
thee good luck in this war of thine. ' Hail to thee ! ' 
she says, ' may thy guardian angels watch over all 
thy steps ! ' The Sultana meanwhile has locked her- 
self up in her private apartments, aiid in the very 
hour in which thou quittest the Seraglio she will take 
this poison, which she has dissolved in a goblet of 
water, and will die." 

The Sultan had all at once become very grave. 

" Why didst thou trouble me with these words ! " 
he exclaimed. 

" I do but repeat the words of the Sultana, greatest 
of Padishahs. She says thou art off to the wars, that 
thou wilt return no more, and that she will not be 
the slave-girl of the monarch who shall come after 
thee and sit upon thy throne." 

" Wherefore dost thou trouble me with these 
words ? " repeated the Sultan. 

" May my tongue curse my lips, may my teeth bite 
out my tongue because of the words I have spoken. 
'Twas the Sultana that bade me speak." 

" Go back to her and tell her to come hither 1 " 

" Such a message, oh, my master, will be her death. 
She will not leave her chamber alive." 

For a moment the Sultan reflected, then he asked 
in a mournful voice : 

"What tliinkest thou? — if thy house was on fire 


and thy beloved was inside, wouldst thou put out the 
flames, or wouldst thou not rather think first of 
rescuing thy beloved ? " 

" Of a truth the extinguishing of the flames is not 
so pressing, and the beloved should be rescued." 

" Thou hast said it. What meaneth the firing of 
cannons that strikes upon my ears ? " 

" Salvoes from the host." 

" Can they be heard in the Seraglio ? " 

" Yea, and the songs of the singing-girls grow dumb 
before it." 

" Conduct me to Adsalis ! She m.ust not die. What 
is the sky to thee if there be no sun in it? What is 
the whole world to thee if thou dost lose thy beloved? 
Go on before and tell her that I am coming" ! " 

The Kizlar-Aga withdrew. Achmed muttered to 
himself : 

" But another second, but another moment, but 
another instant long enough for a parting kiss, but 
another hour, but another night — a night full of bliss- 
ful dreams — and it will be quite tim.e enough to 
hasten to the cold and icy battlefield." And with 
that he hastened towards the harem. 

There sat the Sultana with dishevelled tresses and 
garments rent asunder, without ornaments, without 
line raiment, in sober cinder-coloured mourning weeds. 
Before her, on a table, stood a small goblet filled 

THE CAMP. 105 

with a bluish transparent fluid That fluid was poison 
— not a doubt of it. Her slave-girls lay scattered 
about on the floor around her, weeping and wailing 
and tearing their faces and their snowy bosoms with 
their long nails. 

The Padishah approached her and tenderly en- 
folded her in his arms. 

" Wherefore wouldst thou die out of my life, oh, 
thou light of my days ? " 

The Sultana covered her face with her hands. 

" Can the rose blossom in winter-time ? Do not 
its leaves fall v/hcn the blasts of autumn blow upon it ? " 

" But the winter that must wither thee is still far 

" Oh, Achmcd ! when anyone's star falls from 
Heaven, does the world ever ask, wert thou young? 
vvert thou beautiful? didst thou enjoy life? 
Mashallah! such a one is dead already. My star 
shone upon thy face, and if thou dost turn thy face 
from me, then must I droop and wither." 

" And who told thee that I had turned my face 
from thee ? " 

" Oh, Achmcd ! the Wind docs not say, I am cold, 
and yet we feel it. Thy heart is far, far away from 
mc even when thou art nigh. But my heart is with 
thee even when thou art far away from me, even then 
I am near to thee ; but thuu art far away even when 


thou art sitting dose beside me. It is not Achmed 
who is talking to me. It is only Achmed's body. 
Achmed's soul is wandering elsewhere ; it is wander- 
ing on the bloody held of battle amidst the clash of 
cold steel. He imagines that those banners, those 
weapons, those cannons love him more than his poor 
abandoned, forgotten AdsaHs." 

The salvo of a whole row of cannons was heard 
in front of the Seraglio. 

" Hearken how they call to thee ! Their words 
are more potent than the words of Adsalis. Go 
then ! follow their invitation ! Go the way they point 
out to thee ! The voice of Adsalis will not venture 
to compete with them. What indeed is my voice? — 
what but a gentle, feeble sound! Go! there also I 
will be with thee. And when the long manes of thy 
horse-tail standards flutter before thee on the field 
of battle, fancy that thou dost see before thee the 
waving tresses of thy Adsalis who has freed her soul 
from the incubus of her body in order that it might 
be able to follow thee." 

" Oh, say not so, say not so ! " stammered the 
tender-hearted Sultan, pressing his gentle darling to 
his bosom and closing her lips with his own as if, by 
the very act, he would have prevented her soul from 
escaping and flying away. 

And the cannons may continue thundering on the 


shores of the Bosphorus, the Imperial Clauses may 
summon the host to arms with the blasts of their 
trumpets, the camp of a whole nation may wait and 
wait on the plains of Scutari, but Sultan Achmed is 
far too happy in the embraces of Adsalis to think 
even for a moment of seizing the banner of the 
Prophet and leading his bloodthirsty battalions to 
face the dangers of the battlefield. 

The only army that he now has eyes for is the 
army of the odalisks and slave-girls, who seize their 
tambourines and mandolines, and weave the light 
dance around the happy imperial couple, singing 
sweet songs of enchantment, while outside through 
the streets of Stambul gun-carriages are rattling 
along, and the mob, in a frenzy of enthusiasm, 
clamours for a war of extermination a^-ainst the in- 


vading Shiites. 

Meanwhile a fine hubbub is going on around the 
kettle of the first Janissary regiment. These kettles, 
by the way, play a leading part in the history of the 
Turkish Empire. Around them assemble the Janis- 
saries when any question of war or plunder arises, or 
when they demand the head of a detested pasha, or 
when they wish to see the banner of the Prophet 
unfurled ; and so terrible were these kettles on all 
such occasions that the anxious viziers and pashas, 
when driven into a corner, wero compelled to lill these 


same kettles either with gold pieces or with their own 

An impatient group of Janissaries was standing 
round their kettle, which was placed on the top of 
a lofty iron tripod, and amongst them we notice 
Halil Patrona and Musli. Both were wearing the 
Janissary dress, with round turbans in which a black 
heron's plume was fastened (only the officers wore 
white feathers), with naked calves only half-concealed 
by the short, bulgy pantaloons which scarce covered 
the knee. There was very little of the huckster of 
the day before yesterday in Halil's appearance now. 
His bold and gallant bearing, his resolute mode of 
speech, and the bountiful way in which he scattered 
the piastres which he had received from Janaki, had 
made him a prime favourite among his new comrades. 
Musli, on the other hand, was still drunk. With 
desperate self-forgetfulness he had been drinking the 
health of his friend all night long, and never ceased 
bawling out before his old cronies in front of the 
tent of the Janissary Aga that if the Aga, whose 
name was Hassan, was indeed as valiant a man as 
they tried to make out, let him come forth from 
beneath his tent and not think so much of his soft 
bearskin bed, or else let him give his white heron 
plume to Halil Patrona and let him lead them against 
the enemy. 

THE CA^rP. 109 

The Janissary Aga could hear this bellowing quite 
plainly, but he also could hear the Janissary guard 
in front of the tent laughing loudly at the fellow and 
making all he said unintelligible. 
* Meanwhile a troop of mounted clauses was 
approaching the kettle of the hrst Janissary regiment 
in whose leader we recocniise Halil Pelivan. Allah 


had been with him — he was now raised to the rank 
of a ciaus-officer. 

The giant stood among the Janissaries and inquired 
in a voice of thunder : 

" Which of you common Janissary fellows goes by 
the name of Halil Patrona? " 

Patrona stepped forth. 

" Methinks, Halil Pelivan," said he, " it does not 
require much brain-splitting on }'our part to recognise 

" Where is your comrade Musli ? " 

" Can you not give me a handle to my name, you 
dog of a ciaus?" roared Musli. "I am a gentleman 
I tell you. So long as you were a Janissary, you 
were a gentleman too. But now you are only a dog of 
a ciaus. What business have you, I should like to 
know, in Begta's flower-garden ? " 

" To root out weeds. The pair of you, bound 
tightly together, must follow me." 

** Look yc, my friends!" cried Musli, turning to 


his comrades, " that man is drunk, dead drunk. He 
can scarce stand upon his feet. How dare you say," 
continued he, turning towards Pehvan — " how dare 
you say that two Janissaries, two of the flowers from 
Begta's garden, are to follow you when the banners 
of warfare are already waving before us ? " 

" I am commanded by the Kapu-Kiaja to bring you 
before him." 

" Say not so, you mangy dog you ! Let him come 
for us himself if he has anything to say to us ! What, 
my friends! am I not right in saying that the Kapu- 
Kiaja, if he did his duty, ought to be here with us, 
in the camp and on the battlefield? and that it is 
no business of ours to dance attendance upon him? 
Am I not right? Let him come hither! " 

This sentiment was greeted with an approving 

" Let him come hither if he wants to talk to a 
Janissary ! " cried many voices. " Who ever heard of 
summoning a Janissary away from his camp ? " 

It was as much as Pelivan could do to restrain his 

" You tvv'o are murderers," said he, " you have killed 
the Sultan's Berber-Bashi." 

At this there was a general outburst of laughter. 
Everybody knew that already. Musli had told the 
Etorv hundre<ds of times with all sorts of variations. 


He had described to them how Halil had slain AU 
Kermesh with a single blow of his hst, and how the 
latter's jaw had suddenly fallen and collapsed into a 
corner, all of which had seemed very comical indeed 
to the Janissaries. 

So five or six of them, all speaking together, began 
to heckle and cross-question Pelivan. 

" Are there no more barbers in Stambul that you 
make such a fuss over this particular one ? " 

" What an infamous thing to demand the lives of 
a couple of Janissaries for the sake of a single beard- 
scraper ! " 

" May you and your Kapu-Kiaja have no other 
pastime in Paradise than the shaving of innumerable 

At last Patrona stepped forth and begged his 
comrades to let him have /lis say in the matter. 

" Hearken now, Pelivan ! " began he, " you and I 
are adversaries i know very well, nor do I care a straw 
that it is so. I am not palavering now with you 
because I want to get out of a difhculty, but simply 
because I want to send you back to the Kiaja with a 
sensible answer which I am quite sure you arc in- 
capable of hitting upon yourself. Well, I freely admit 
that I did kill Ali Kermesh, killed him single-handed. 
Nobody helped me to do the deed. And now 1 have 
thrown in my lot with the Janissaries, and here I 


stand where it has pleased Allah to place me, that 
I may pay with my own life for the life I have taken 
if it seem good to Him so to ordain. I am quite 
ready to die and glorify His name thereby. His 
Will be done! Let the honourable Kiaja therefore 
gird up his loins, and let all those great lords who 
repose in the shadow of the Padishah draw their 
swords and come among us once for all. I and all 
my comrades, the whole Janissary host in fact, are 
ready to fall on the held of battle one after another 
at the bare wave of their hand, but there is not a 
single Janissary present who would bow his knee 
before the executioner." 

These words, uttered in a ringing, sonorous voice, 
were accompanied by thunders of applause from the 
whole regiment, and during this tumult Musli en- 
deavoured to add a couple of words on his own 
account to the message already delivered by Patrona. 

" And just tell your master, the Kiaja," said he, 
" and all your white-headed grand viziers and grey- 
bearded muftis, that if they do not bring the Sultan 
and the banner of the Prophet into camp this very 
day, not a single one of them will need a barber on 
the morrow, unless they would like their heels well 
shaved in default of heads." 

Pelivan meanwhile was looking steadily into Halil's 
eyes. There was such a malicious scorn in his gaze 

THE CAMP. 113 

that Halil involuntarily grasped the hilt of his 

" Fear not, Patrona ! " cried he jeeringly, " Giil- 
Bejáze will never again be conducted into the 
Seraglio. She and your father-in-law have been 
captured as they were trying to fly, and the un- 
beheving Greek cattle-dealer has been thrown into 
the dungeon set apart for evil-doers. As for that 
woman whom you call your wife, she has been put 
into the prison assigned to those shameless ones 
whom the gracious Sultan has driven together from 
all parts of the realm, and kept in ward lest the virtue 
of his faithful Mussulmans should be corrupted. 
There you will find her." 

Patrona, like a furious tiger that has burst forth 
from its cage, at these words rushed from out the 
ranks of his comrades. His sword flashed in his hand, 
and if Pelivan had been doubly as big as he was, his 
mere size could not have saved him. But the leader 
of the ciauses straightway put spurs to his horse, and 
laughing loudly galloped away with his ciauses, almost 
brushing the enraged Hahl as he passed, and when 
he had already trotted a safe distance away, he turned 
round and with a scornful Ha, ha, ha! began hurling 
insults at the Janissaries, five or six of whom had set 
out to follow him. 

" Ha! he is mocking us! " exclaimed Musli, vvhere- 



upon the Janissaries who stood nearest perceiving 
that they should never be able to overtake him on 
foot, hastened to the nearest battery, wrested a mortar 
from the topijis by force, and fired it upon the retreat- 
ing ciauses. The discharged twelve-pounder whistled 
about their heads and then fell far away in the midst 
of a bivouac where a number of worthy Bosniaks were 
cooking their suppers, scattering the hot ashes into 
their eyes, ricochetting thence very prettily into the 
pavilion of the Bostanji Bashi, two of whose windows 
it knocked out, thence bounding three or four times 
into the air, terrifying several recumbent groups 
in its passage, and trundling rapidly away over some 
level ground, till at last it rolled into the booth 
of a glass-maker, and there smashed to atoms an in- 
calculable quantity of pottery. 

Here Pelivan finally ran it to earth, seized it, 
hauled it off to the Kiaja, and duly delivered the 
message of the Janissaries, together with the twelve- 
pound cannon-ball, at the same time reminding him 
that it was an old habit of the Janissaries to accom- 
pany their messages with similar little douceurs. 

Pelivan had anticipated that the Kiaja would foam 
with rage at the news^ and would have the offending 
Janissary regiment decimated at the very least; but 
the Kiaja, instead of being angry, seemed very much 
afraid. He saw in this presumptuous message a 

THE CAMP. 115 

declaration of rebellion, and hurried off to the Grand 
Vizier as fast as his legs could carry him, taking the 
heavy twelve-pounder along with him. 

Ibrahim perfectly comprehended what was said to 
him, and placing the cannon-ball in a box nicely lined 
with velvet took it to the Seraglio, and when he got 
there sent for the Kizlar-Aga, placed it in his hands, 
and commissioned him to deliver it to the Sultan. 

" The Army," said he, " has sent this present to the 
most glorious Padishah. It is a treasure which is 
worth nothing so long as it is in our possession ; it 
only becomes precious when we pay our debts with 
it, but it is downright damaging if we let others pay 
their debts to us therewith. Say to the most puissant 
of Sultans that if he finds this one specimen too little, 
the Army is ready to send him a lot more, and then 
it will choose neither me nor thee to be the bearer 

The Kizlar-Aga, who did not know what was in 
the box, took it forthwith into the Hall of Delight, 
and there delivered it to Achmed together with the 

The Sultan broke open the box in the presence of 
the Sultana Asseki, and on perceiving therein the 
heavy cannon-ball at once understood Ibrahim's 

He was troubled to the depths of his soul when he 


understood it. He was so good, so gentle to every- 
one, he tried so hard to avoid injuring anybody, and 
yet everybody seemed to combine to make him miser- 
able ! It seemed as though they envied him his sweet 
delights, and were determined that he should find 
no repose even in the very bosom of his family. 

He embraced and kissed the fair Sultana again 
and again, and stammered with tears in his eyes : 

"Die then, my pretty flower! fade away! wither 
before my very eyes ! Die if thou canst that at least 
my heart may have nothing to long for ! " 

The Sultana threw herself in despair at his feet, ' 
with her dishevelled tresses waving all about her, and 
encircling Achmed's knees with her white arms she 
besought him, sobbing loudly, not to go to the camp, 
at any rate, not that day. Let at least the memory 
of the evil dreams she had dreamed the night before 
pass away, she said. 

But no, he could remain behind no longer. In 
vain were all weeping and wailing, however desperate. 
The Sultan had made up his mind that he must go. 
One single moment only did he hesitate, for one 
single moment the thought did occur to him : Am I 
a mere tool in the hands of my army, and why do I 
wear a sword at all if I do not decapitate therewith 
those who rise in rebellion against me? But he very 
soon let that thought escape. He knew he was not 

THE CAMP. 117 

capable of translating it into action. Many, very 
many, must needs die if he acted thus ; perhaps it 
were better, much better, for everybody if he sub- 

" There is nought for thee but to die, my pretty 
flower," he whispered to the Sultana, who, sobbing 
and moaning, accompanied him to the very door of 
the Seraglio, and there he gently removed her arms 
from his shoulders and hastened to the council- 

Adsalis did not die however, but made her way 
by the secret staircase to the apartments of the White 
Prince and found consolation with him. 

" The Sultan did not yield to my arguments," she 
said to the White Prince, who took her at once to his 
bosom, " he is off to the camp. If only I could hold 
him back for a single day the rebellion would burst 
forth — and then his dominion would vanish and his 
successor would be yourself." 

"Calm yourself, we may still gain time! Remind 
him through the Kizlar-Aga that he neglect not the 
pricking of the Koran." 

" You have spoken a word in season," replied 
Adsalis, and she immediately sent the Kizlar-Aga into 
the council-chamber. 

The Grand Vizier, the Kapudan Pasha, the Kiaja, 
the Chief Mufti, and the Sheik of the Aja Sophia. 


Ispirizade, were assembled in council with the Sultan 
who had just ordered the Sihhdar to gird him with 
the sword of Mahomet. 

" Most illustrious Padishah ! " cried the Kizlar-Aga, 
throwing himself to the ground and hiding his face 
in his hands, " the Sultana Asseki would have me 
remind thee that thou do not neglect to ask counsel 
from Allah by the pricking of the Koran, before thou 
hast come to any resolution, as was the custom of 
thine illustrious ancestors as often as they had to 
choose between peace and war." 

" Well said ! " cried Achmed, and thereupon he 
ordered the chief mufti to bring him the Alkoran 
which, in all moments of doubt, the Sultans were wont 
to appeal to and consult by plunging a needle through 
its pages, and then turning to the last leaf in which 
the marks of the needle-point were visible. What- 
ever words on this last page happened to be 
pricked were regarded as oracular and worthy of 
all obedience. 

On every table in the council-chamber stood an 
Alkoran — ten copies in one room. The binding of 
one of these copies was covered with diamonds. This 
copy the Chief Mufti brought to the Sultan, and gave 
into his hands the needle with which the august 
ceremony was to be accomplished. 

Meanwhile Ibrahim glanced impatiently at the 

THE CAMP. 119 

three magnificent clocks standing in the room, one 
beside the other. They all pointed to a quarter to 
twelve. It was already late, and this ceremony of 
the pricking of the Koran always took up such a lot 
of time. 

The Sultan opened the book at the last page, 
pricked through by the needle, and these were the 
words he read : 

" He who fears the sword will find the sword his 
enemy, and better a rust-eaten sword in the hand 
than a brightly burnished one in a sheath." 

" La illah il Allah ! God is one ! " said Achmed 
bowing his head and kissing the words of the Alkoran. 
" Make ready my charger, 'tis the will of God." 

The Kizlar-Aga returned with the news to Adsalis 
and the White Prince. 

Even the pricking of the Koran had gone contrary 
to their plans. 

" Go and remind the Sultan," said Adsalis, " that 
he cannot go to the wais without the surem of 
victory ; " and for the second time the Kizlar-Aga 
departed to execute the commands of the Sultana. 

The surem, by the way, is a holy supplication which 
it is usual for the chief Imam to recite in the mosques 
before the Padishah goes personally to battle, pray- 
ing that Allah will bless his arms with victory. 

Now, because time was pressing, it was necessary 


to recite this prayer in the chapel of the Seraglio 
instead of in the mosque of St. Sophia. Ispirizade 
accordingly began to intone the surem, but he spun it 
out so long and made such a business of it, that it 
seemed as if he were bent on wasting time purposely. 
By the time the devotion was over every clock in the 
Seraglio had struck twelve. 

Ibrahim hastened to the Sultan to press him to 
embark as soon as possible in the ship that was wait- 
ing ready to convey him and the White Prince to 
Scutari ; but at the foot of the staircase, in the outer 
court of the Seraglio where stood the Sultan's chargers 
which were to take him through the garden kiosk to 
the seashore, the way was barred by the Kizlar-Aga, 
who flung himself to the ground before the Sultan, 
and grasping his horse's bridle began to cry with all 
his might : 

" Trample me, oh, my master, beneath the hoofs of 
thy horses, yet listen to my words! The noontide 
hour has passed, and the hours of the afternoon are 
unlucky hours for any undertaking. The true Mussul- 
man puts his hand to nothing on which the blessing 
of Allah can rest when noon has gone. Trample on 
my dead body if thou wilt, but say not that there was 
nobody who would have withheld thee from the path 
of peril ! " 

The soul of Achmed III. was full of all manner of 

THE CAMP. 12 1 

fantastic sentiments. Faith, hope, and love, which 
make others strong, had in him degenerated into 
superstition, frivohty, and voluptuousness — already he 
was but half a man. 

At the words of the Kizlar-Aga he removed his 
foot from the stirrup in which he had dreamily placed 
it with the help of the kneeling Rikiabdar, and said 
in the tone of a man who has at last made up his 
mind : 

" We will go to-morrow." 

Ibrahim was in despair at this fresh delay. He 
whispered a few words in the ear of Izmail Aga, 
whereupon the latter scarce waiting till the Sultan 
had remounted the steps, flung himself on his horse 
and galloped as fast as he could tear towards Scutari. 

Meanwhile the Grand Vizier and the Chief Mufti 
continued to detain the Sultan in the Divan, or 

Three-quarters of an hour later Izmail Aga returned 
and presented himself before the Sultan all covered 
with dust and sweat. 

" Most glorious Padishah ! " he cried, " I have just 
come from the host. Since dawn they have all been 
on their feet awaiting thy arrival. If by evening 
thou dost not show thyself in the camp, then so sure 
as God is one, the host will not remain in Scutari 
but will come to Stambul." 


The host is coming to Stambul ! — that was a word 
of terror. 

And Achmed III. well understood what it meant. 
Well did he remember the message which, three-and- 
twenty years before, the host had sent to his prede- 
cessor, Sultan Mustafa, who would not quit his harem 
at Adrianople to come to Stambul : " Even if thou 
wert dead thou couldst come here in a couple of 
days ! " And he also remembered what had followed. 
The Sultan had been made to abdicate the throne 
and he (Achmed) had taken his place. And now 
just the same sort of tempest which had overthrown 
his predecessor was shaking the seat of the mighty 
rock beneath his own feet. 

" Mashallah ! the will of God be done ! " exclaimed 
Achmed, kissing the sword of Muhammad, and a 
quarter of an hour later he went on board the ship 
destined for him with the banner of the Prophet 
borne before him. 

In the Seraglio all the clocks one after another 
struck one as four-and-twenty salvoes announced that 
the Sultan with the banner of the Prophet had arrived 
in the camp. 

And the people of the East believe that the 
blessing of Allah does not rest on the hour which 
marks the afternoon. 



A CONTRARY wind was blowing across the Bosphorus, 
so that it was not until towards the evening that the 
Sultan arrived at Scutari, and disembarked there at 
his seaside palace with his viziers, his princes, the 
Chief Mufti, and Ispirizade. 

Though everything had quieted down close at 
hand, all night long could be heard, some distance 
off, in the direction of the camp, a murmuring and a 
tumult, the cause of which nobody could explain. 

More than once the Grand Vizier sent fleet runners 
to the Aga of the Janissaries to inquire what was 
the meaniug of all that noise in the camp. Hassan 
repUed that he himself did not understand why they 
were so unruly after they had heard the arrival of the 
Sultan and the sacred banner everywhere proclaimed. 

Shortly afterwards Ibrahim commanded him to 
seize all those who would not remain quiet. Hassan 
accordingly laid his hands on sundry who came con- 
veniently in his way ; but, for all that, the rest would 


pay no heed to him, and the tumult began to extend 
in the direction of Stambul also. 

Towards midnight a ciaus reached the Kiaja with 
the intelligence that a number of soldiers were coming 
along from the direction of Tebrif, crying as they 
came that the army of Kiiprilizade had been scattered 
to the winds by Shah Tamasip, and that they them- 
selves were the sole survivors of the carnage — that 
was why the army round Stambul was chafing and 

The Kiaja went at once in search of the Grand 
Vizier and told him of this terrible rumour. 

" Impossible ! " exclaimed Ibrahim. " Kiiprilizade 
would not allow himself to be beaten. Only a few 
days ago I sent him arms and reinforcements which 
were more than enough to enable him to hold his 
own until the main army should arrive. 

" And even if it were true. If, in consequence of 
the Sultan's procrastination, we were to arrive too 
late and the whole of the provinces of Ramadan and 
Kermanshan were to be lost — even then we should 
all be in the hands of Allah. Come, let us go to 
prayer and then to bed ! " 

At about the same hour^ three softas awoke the 
Chief Mufti and Ispirizade, and laid before them a 
letter written on parchment which they had dis- 
covered lying in the middle of a mosque. The 


letter was apparently written with gunpowder and 
almost illegible. 

It turned out to be an exhortation to all true 
Mussulmans to draw the sword in defence of 
Muhammad, but they were bidden beware lest, when 
they went against the foe, they left behind them, at 
home, the greatest foes of all, who were none other 
than the Sultan's own Ministers. 

" This letter deserves to be thrown into the fire," 
said Ispirizade, and into the fire he threw it, there 
and then, and thereupon lay down to sleep with a 
good conscience. 

The following day was Thursday, the 28th Sep- 
tember. On that very day, twelve months before, 
the Sultan's eleven-year-old son had died. The day 
•was therefore kept as a solemn day of mourning, and 
a general cessation of martial exercises throughout 
the host was proclaimed by a flourish of trumpets. 

To many of the commanders this day of rest was 
a season of strict observance. The Aga of the 
Janissaries withdrew to his kiosk ; the Kapudan 
Pasha had himself rowed through the canal to his 
country house at Chcngclküi, having just received 
from a Dutch merchant a very handsome assortment 
of tulip-bulbs, which he wanted to plant out with his 
own hands ; the Reis-Effendi hastened to his summer 
residence, beside the Sweet Waters, to take leave of 


his odalisks for the twentieth time at least ; and the 
Kiaja returned to Stambul. Each of them strictly 
observed the day — in his own peculiar manner. 

But Fate had prepared for the people at large a 
very different sort of observance. 

Early in the morning, at sunrise, seventeen Janis- 
saries were standing in front of the mosque of 
Bajazid with HaHl Patrona at their head. 

In the hand of each one of them was a naked sword, 
and in their midst stood Musli holding aloft the half- 
moon banner. 

The people made way before them, and allowed 
Patrona to ascend the steps of the mosque, and when 
the blast of the alarm-horns had subsided, the clear 
penetrating voice of the ex-pedlar was distinctly 
audible from end to end of the great kalan square in 
front of him. 

" Mussulmans ! " he cried, " you have duties, yes, 
duties laid upon you by our sacred law. We are 
being ruined by traitors. Fugitives from the host 
have brought us the tidings that the army of 
Kiiprilizade has been scattered to the winds ; four 
thousand horses and six hundred camels, laden with 
provisions, have been captured by the Persians ; the 
general himself has fled to Erivan, and the provinces 
of Hamadan and Kermanshan are once more in the 
possession of the enemy. And all this is going on 


while the Grand Vizier and the Chief Mufti have been 
arranging Lantern Feasts, Processions of Palms and 
Illuminations in the streets of Stambul instead of 
making ready the host to go to the assistance of the 
valiant Kiiprilizade ! Our brethren are sent to the 
shambles, we hear their cries, we see their banners 
falter and fall into the enemy's hands, and we are 
not suffered to fly to their assistance, though we 
stand here with drawn swords in our hands. There 
is treachery — treachery against Allah and His 
Prophet! Therefore, let every true believer forsake 
immediately his handiwork, cast his awl, his hammer, 
and his plane aside, and seize his sword instead ; 
let him close his booth and rally beneath our 
standard ! " 

The mob greeted these words with a savage yell, 
raised Patrona on its shoulders, and carried him away 
through the arcades of Bezesztan piazza. Everyone 
hastened away to close his booth, and the whole 
city seemed to be turned upside down. It was just 
as if a still standing lake had been stirred violently 
to its lowest depths, and all the slimy monsters and 
hideous refuse reposing at the bottom had come to 
the surface ; for the streets were suddenly flooded by 
the unrecognised riff-raff which vegetates in every 
great town, though they are out of the ken of the 
regular and orderly inhabitants, and only appear in 


the light of day when a sudden concussion drives 
them to the surface. 

YelHng and howHng, they accompanied HaHl 
everywhere, only listening to him when his escort 
raised him aloft on their shoulders in order that he 
might address the mob. 

Just at this moment they stopped in front of the 
house of the Janissary Aga. 

" Hassan ! " cried Halil curtly, disdaining to give 
him his official title, and thundering on the door with 
his fists, " Hassan, you imprisoned our comrades be- 
cause they dared to murmur, and now you can hear 
roars instead of murmurs. Give them up, Hassan! 
Give them up, I say ! " 

Hassan, however, was no great lover of such 
spectacles, so he hastily exchanged his garments for 
a suit of rags, and bolted through the gate of the 
back garden to the shores of the Bosphorus, where he 
huddled into an old tub of a boat which carried him 
across to the camp. Then only did he feel safe. 

Meanwhile the Janissaries battered in the door of 
his house and released their comrades. Then they 
put Halil on Hassan's horse and proceeded in great 
triumph to the Etmeidan. The next instant the 
whole square was alive with armed men, and they 
hauled the Kulkiaja caldron out of the barracks and 
set it up in the midst of the mob. This was the 


usual signal for the outburst of the war of fiercely 
contending passions too long enchained. 

" And now open the prisons ! " thundered Halil, 
"and set free all the captives! Put daggers in the 
hands of the murderers and flaming torches in the 
hands of the incendiaries, and let us go forth burning 
and slaying, for to-day is a day of death and lamenta- 

And the mob rushed upon the prisons, tore down 
the railings, broke through bolts and bars, and whole 
hordes of murderers and malefactors rushed forth 
into the piazza and all the adjoining streets, and the 
last of all to quit the dungeon was Janaki, Haul's 
father-in-law. There he remained standing in the 
doorway as if he were afraid or ashamed, till Musli 
.rushed towards him and tore him away by force. 

" Be not cast down, muzafir, but snatch up a sword 
and stand alongside of me. No harm can come to 
you here. It is the turn of the Gaolers now."- 

In the meantime Halil had made his way to that 
particular dungeon where the loose women whom the 
Sultan had been graciously pleased to collect from all 
the quarters of the town to herd in one place were 
listening in trembling apprehension. 

The doors were flung wide open, and the mob 
roared to the prisoners that all to whom liberty was 
dear might show a clean pair of heels, whereupon 



a mob of women, like a swarm of shrieking ghosts, 
fluttered through the doors and made off in every 
direction. Those women who stroll about the streets 
with uncovered faces, who paint their eyebrows and 
lips for the diversion of strangers, who are shut out 
from the world like mad dogs, that they may not 
contaminate the people — all these women were now 
let loose! Some of them had grown old since the 
prison-gates had been closed upon them, but the flame 
of evil passion still flickered in their sunken eyes. 
Alas! what pestilence has been let loose upon the 
Mussulman population. And thou, Halil! wilt thou 
be able to ride the storm to which thou has given 

There he stands in the gateway ! He is waiting 
till, in the wake of these unspeakably vile women, his 
pure-souled idol, the beautiful, the innocent Gül- 
Bejáze shall appear. How long she delays! All the 
rest have come forth ; all the rest have scattered to 
their various haunts, only one or two belated shapes 
are now emerging from the dungeon and hastening 
after the others — creatures whom the voice of the 
tumult had surprised en deshabille, and who now with 
only half-clothed bodies and hair streaming down 
their backs rush screaming away. Only Gül-Bejáze 
still delays. 

Full of anxiety Halil descends at last into the 


loathsome hole but dimly lit by a few round windows 
in the roof. 

" Gül-Bejáze ! Gül-Bejáze ! " he moans with a 
stifling voice, looking all around the dungeon, and, 
at the sound of his whispered words, he sees a white 
mass, huddled in a corner of the far wall, feebly begin 
to move. He rushes to the spot. Surely it is some 
beggar-woman who hides her face from him? Gently 
he removes her hands from her face and in the 
woman recognises his wife. The poor creature would 
rather not be set free for very shame sake. She 
would rather remain here in the dungeon. 

Speechless with agony, he raised her in his arms. 
The woman said not a word, gave him not a look, 
she only hid her face in her husband's bosom and 
sobbed aloud. 

" Weep not ! weep not ! " moaned Halil, " those who 
have dishonoured thee shall, this very day, lie in the 
dust before thee, by Allah. I swear it. Thou shalt 
play with the heads of those who have played with 
thy heart, and that selfsame pliffed-up Sultana who 
has stretched out her hand against thee shall be glad 
to kiss thy hand. I, Halil Patrona, have said it, and 
let me be accursed above all other Mussulmans if ever 
I have lied." 

Then snatching up his wife in his arms he rushed 
out among the crowd, and exhibiting that pale 


and forlorn figure in the sight of all men, he 
cried : 

"Behold, ye Mussulmans! this is my wife whom 
they ravished from me on my bridal night, and whom 
I must needs discover in the midst of this sink of 
vileness and' iniquity! Speak those of you who are 
husbands, would you be merciful to him who dis- 
honoured your wife after this sort ? " 

" Death be upon his head ! " roared the furious 
multitude, and rolling onwards like a flood that has 
burst its dams it stopped a moment later before a 
stately palace. 

" Whose is this palace ? " inquired Halil of the 

" Damad Ibrahim's," cried sundry voices from 
among the crowd. 

" Whose is that palace, I say ? " inquired Halil once 
more, angrily shaking his head. 

Then many of them understood the force of the 
question and exclaimed:! 

"Thine, O Halil Patrona!" 

" Thine, thine, Halil ! " thundered the obsequious 
crowd, and with that they rushed upon the palace, 
burst open the doors, and Patrona, with his wife 
still clasped in his arms, forced his way in, and seek- 
ing out the harem of the Grand Vizier, commanded 
the odaHsks of Ibrahim to bow their faces in the dust 


before their new mistress, and fulfil all her demands. 
And before the door he placed a guard of honour. 

Outside there was the din of battle, the roll of 
drums, and the blast of trumpets ; and the whole of 
this tempest was fanned by the faint breathing of a 
sick and broken woman. 



It is not every day that one can see budding tulips in 
the middle of September, yet the Kapudan Pasha 
had succeeded in hitting upon a dodge which the 
most famous gardeners in the world had for ages 
been racking their brains to discover, and all in vain. 

The problem was — ^how to introduce an artificial 
spring into the very waist and middle of autumn, and 
then to get the tulip-bulbs to take September for 
May, and set about flowering there and then. 

First of all he set about preparing a special forcing- 
bed of his own invention, in which he carefully 
mingled together the most nourishing soil formed 
among the Mountains of Lebanon from millennial 
deposits of cedar-tree spines, antelope manure, so 
heating and stimulating to vegetation, that wherever 
it falls on the desert, tiny oases, full of flowers and 
verdure, immediately spring up amidst the burning, 
drifting sand-hills, and burnt and pulverized black 
marble which is only to be found in the Dead Moun- 


tains. A judicious intermingling- of this mixture pro- 
duces a soft, porous, and exceedingly damp soil, and in 
this soil the Kapudan Pasha very carefully planted out 
his tulips with his own hands. He selected the bulbs 
resulting from last spring's blooms, making a hole 
for each of them, one by one, with his index-finger, 
and banking them up gingerly with earth as soft as 
fresh bread crumbs. 

Then he had snow fetched from the summits of 
the Caucasus, where it remains even all through the 
summer — whole ship loads of snow by way of the 
Black Sea — and kept the tulip-bulbs well covered with 
it, adding continually layers of fresh snow as the first 
layers melted, so that the hoodwinked tulips really 
believed it was now winter ; and when towards the 
end of August the snow was allowed to melt 
altogether, they fancied spring had come, and poked 
their gold-green shoots out of their well-warmed, 
well -moistened bed. 

On the eve of the Prophet's birthday about fifty 
plants had begun to bloom, all of which had been 
named after battles in which the Mussulmans had 
triumphed, or after fortresses which their arms had 
captured. Then, however, the Kapudan Pasha was 
obliged to go to sea and command the fleet, in other 
words, he was constrained to leave his beloved tulip? 
at the most interesting period of their existence. 


On the very evening when the Sultan arrived at 
Scutari, one of the Kapudan Pasha's gardeners came 
to him with the joyful intelligence that Belgrade, 
Naples, Morea, and Kermanjasahan would blossom 
on the morrow. 

The Kapudan Pasha was wild with impatience. 
There they all were, just on the point of blooming, 
and he w©uld be unable to see it. How he would 
have liked a contrary wind to have kept back the 
fleet for a day or two. 

But what the wind would not do for him, the 
Sultan's birthday gave him the opportunity of doing 
for himself. The day of rest appointed for the morrow 
permitted the Kapudan Pasha to get himself rowed 
across to his summer palace at Chengelköi, where his 
marvellous tulips were about to bloom at the begin- 
ning of autumn. 

What a spectacle awaited him! All four of them, 
yes, all four, were in full bloom! 

Belgrade was pale yellow with bright green stripes, 
those of the stripes which were pale green on the 
lower were rose-coloured on the upper surface, and 
those of them which were bright green above died 
gradually away into a dark lilac colour below. 

Naples was a very full tulip, whose confusingly 
numerous angry-red leaves, with yellow edges, 
symbolized, perhaps, the fifteen hundred Venetians 


who had fallen at its name-place beneath the arms 
of the Ottomans. 

Morea was the richest in colour. The base of its 
cup was of a dark chocolate hue, with green and rose- 
coloured stripes all round it ; moreover, the green 
stripes passed into red, and the rose ones into liver- 
colour, and a bright yellow streak of colour ran parallel 
with every single stripe. On the outside the green 
hues, inside the red rather predominated. 

But the rarest, the most magnificent of the four was 
Kermanjasahan. This was a treasure filched from 
the garden of the Dalai Lama. It was snow-white, 
without the slightest nuance of any other colour, and 
of such full bloom that the original six petals were 
obliged to bend downwards. 

The Kapudan Pasha was enraptured by all this 

He had made up his mind to present all these 
tulips to the Sultan, for which he would no doubt 
receive a rich viceroyalty, perhaps even Egypt, who 
could tell. He therefore ordered that costly china 
vases should be brought to him in which he might 
transplant the flowers, and he dug with his hands deep 
down in the soil lest he should injure the bulbs. 

Just as he was kneeling down in the midst of the 
tulips, with his hands all covered with mould, a breath- 
less bostanji came rushing towards him at full speed, 


quite out of breath, and without waiting to get up to 
him, exclaimed while still a good distance off : 

" Sir, sir, rise up quickly, for all Stambul is in a 

" Take care ! — don't tread upon my tulips, you 
blockhead ; don't you see that you nearly trampled 
upon one of them ! " 

" Oh, my master ! tulips bloom every year, but if 
you trample a man to death, Mashallah! he will rise 
no more. Hasten, for the rioters are already turning 
the city upside down ! " 

The Kapudan Pasha very gently, very cautiously, 
placed the flower, which he had raised with both 
hands, in the porcelain vase, and pressed the earth 
down on every side of it so that it might keep steady 
when carried. 

"What dost thou say, my son?" he then con- 
descended to ask. 

" The people of Stambul have risen in revolt.'* 

"The people of Stambul, eh? What sort of 
people? Do you mean the cobblers, the hucksters, 
the fishermen, and the bakers ? " 

" Yes, sir, they have all risen in revolt." 

"Very well, I'll be there directly and tell them to 
be quiet." 

" Oh, sir, you speak as if you could extinguish the 
burning city with this watering-can. The will of 
Allah be done ! " 


But the Kapudan Pasha, with a merry heart, kept 
on watering the transplanted tuHps till he had done 
it thoroughly, and entrusted them to four bostanjis, 
bidding them carry the flowers through the canal to 
the Sultan's palace at Scutari, while he had his horse 
saddled and without the slightest escort trotted quite 
alone into Stambul, where at that very moment they 
were crying loudly for his head. 

On the way thither, he came fax:e to face with the 
Kiaja coming in a wretched, two-wheeled kibitka, 
with a Russian coachman sitting in front of him to 
hide him as much as possible from the public view. 
He bellowed to the Kapudan Pasha not to go to 
Stambul as death awaited him there. At this the 
Kapudan Pasha simply shrugged his shoulders. What 
an idea ! To be frightened of an army of bakers and 
cobblers indeed! It was sheer nonsense, so he tried 
to persuade the Kiaja to turn back again with him 
and restore order by showing themselves to the rioters, 
whereupon the latter vehemently declared that not 
for all the joys of Paradise would he do so, and 
begged his Russian coachman to hasten on towards 
Scutari as rapidly as possible. 

The Kapudan Pasha promised that he would not 
be very long behind him ; nay, inasmuch as the Kiaja 
was making a very considerable detour, while he him- 
self was taking tlie direct road straight through 


Stambul, he insinuated that it was highly probable 
he might reach Scutari before him. 

"We shall meet again shortly," he cried by way 
of a parting salute. 

"Yes, in Abraham's bosom, I expect," murmured 
the Kiaja to himself as he raced away again, while the 
Kapudan Pasha ambled jauntily into the city. 

Already from afar he beheld the palace of the 
Reis-Effendi, on whose walls were inscribed in 
gigantic letters the following announcements : 

"Death to the Chief Mufti! 

" Death to the Grand Vizier ! 

" Death to the Kapudan Pasha ! 

" Death to the Kiaja Beg ! " 

" H'm! " said the Kapudan Pasha to himself. " No 
doubt that was written by some softa or other, for 
cobblers and tailors cannot write of course. Not a 
bad hand by any means. I should like to make the 
fellow my teskeredji." 

As he trotted nearer to the palace, he perceived a 
great multitude surging around it, and amongst them 
a mounted trumpeter with one of those large Turkish 
field-horns which are audible a mile off, and are 
generally used at Stambul during every popular rising, 
their very note has a provocative tone. 

The trumpeting herald was thus addressing the 
niob assembled around him: 


" Inhabitants of Stambul, true-believing Mussul- 
mans, our commander is Haul Patrona, the chief of 
the Janissaries, and in the name of the Stambul Cadi, 
Hassan Sulali, I proclaim : Let every true believing 
Mussulman shut up his shop, lay aside his handi- 
work, and assemble in the piazza;- those of you, 
however, who are bakers of bread or sellers of flesh, 
keep your shops open, for whosoever resists this 
decree his shop will be treated as common booty. 
As for the unbelieving giaours at present residing at 
Stambul, let them remain in peace at home, for those 
who do not stir abroad will have no harm done to 
them. And this I announce to you in the names of 
Halil Patrona and Hassan Sulali." 

The Kapudan Pasha hstened to the very last word 
of this proclamation, then he spurred his horse upon 
the crier, and snatching the horn from his hand hit 
him a blow with it on the back, which resounded 
far and wide, and then with a voice of thunder 
addressed the suddenly pacified crowd :i 

" Ye worthless vagabonds, ye filthy sneak-thieves, 
mud-larking crab-catchers, pitchy-fingered slipper- 
botchers, huddling opium-eaters, swindhng knacker- 
sellers, petty hucksters, ye ragged, filthy, whey-faced 
tipplers ! — I, Abdi, the Kapudan Pasha, say it to you, 
and I only regret that I have not the tongue of a 
Giaour of the Hungarian race that I miglit be able 


to heap upon you all the curses and reproaches that 
your conduct deserves, ye dogs ! What do you want 
then? Have you not enough to eat? Do you want 
war because you are tired of peace? War, indeed, 
though you would take good care to keep out of it 
To remain at home here and wage war against women 
and girls is much more to your liking; booths not 
fortresses are what you like to storm. Be off to your 
homes from whence you have come, I say, for whom- 
soever I find in the streets an hour hence his head 
shall dangle in front of the Pavilion of Justice. Mark 
my words ! " 

With these words Abdi gave his horse the spur 
and galloped through the thickest part of the mob, 
which dispersed in terror before him, and with proud 
self-satisfaction the Kapudan Pasha saw how the 
people hid away from him in their houses and 
vanished, as if by magic, from the streets and house- 

He galloped into the town without opposition. At 
every street corner he blew a long blast in the 
captured horn, and addressed some well-chosen re- 
marks to the people assembled there, which scattered 
them in every direction. 

At last he reached the Bezesztan, where every shop 
was closed. 

" Open your shops, ye dogs ! " thundered Abdi to 


the assembled merchants and tradesmen. " I suppose 
your heels are itching? — or perhaps you are tired of 
having ears and noses? Open all your shop-doors 
this instant, I say! for whoever k^eps them closed 
after this command shall be hanged up in front of his 
own shop-door ! " 

The shopkeepers, full of terror, began to take down 
their shutters forthwith. 

From thence he galloped off towards the Etmeidan. 

The great fishmarket, which he passed on his way, 
was filled with people from end to end. Not a word 
could be heard for the fearful din, which completely 
drowned the voices of a few stump-orators who here 
and there had climbed up the pillars near the drinking- 
fountains to address the mob. 

Nevertheless the resonant, penetrating voice of the 
horn blown by the Kapudan Pasha dominated the 
tumult, and turned every face in his direction. 

Rising in his stirrups, Abdi addressed them with a 
terrible voice : 

" Ye fools, whose mad hands rise against your own 
heads ! Do ye want to make the earth quake beneath 
you that so many of you stand in a heap in one place? 
What fool among you is it would drag the whole lot 
of you down to perdition? Would that the heavens 
might fall upon you ! — would that these houses might 
bury you ! — would that ye might turn into four-footed 


beasts who can do nothing but bark! Lower your 
heads, ye wretched creatures, and go and hide your- 
selves behind your mud-walls! And let not a single 
cry be heard in your streets, for if you dare to come 
out of your holes, I swear by the shadow of Allah 
that I'll make a rubbish-heap of Stambul with my 
guns, and none shall live in it henceforth but serpents 
and bats and your accursed souls, ye dogs ! "- 

And nobody durst say him nay. They hstened to 
his revilings in silence, gave way before him, and 
made a way for his prancing steed. Halil was not 
there, had he but been there the Kapu dan Pasha 
would not have waited twice for an answer. 

So here also Abdi succeeded in trotting through 
the ranks of the rioters, and so at last directed his 
way towards the Etmeidan. 

By this time not only the caldron of the first but 
the caldron of the fifth Janissary regiment had been 
erected in the midst of the camp. They had been 
taken by force from the army blacksmiths, and a 
group of Janissaries stood round each of them. 

Abdi Pasha appeared among them so unexpectedly 
that they were only aware of his presence when he 
suddenly bawled at them :; 

" Put down your weapons ! " 

They all regarded the Kapudan Pasha with fear 
and wonder. How had he got here? Not one of 


them dared to draw a sword against him, yet not one 
of them submitted, and everyone of them felt that 
Patrona was badly wanted here. 

The banner of the insurgents was waving in the 
midst of the piazza. Abdi Pasha rode straight 
towards it. The Janissaries remained rooted to the 
spot, staring after him with astonishment 

Suddenly Musli leaped forth from amongst them, 
and anticipating the Kapudan, seized the flag him- 

" Give me that banner, my son ! " said Abdi with 
all the phlegm of a true seaman. 

Musli had not yet sufficiently recovered to be able 
to answer articulately, but he shook his head by way 
of intimating that surrender it he would not. 
. " Give me that banner. Janissary ! " cried Abdi once 
more, sternly regarding Musli straight between the 

Instead of answering Musli simply proceeded to 
wind the banner round its pole. 

" Give me that banner ! " bellowed Abdi for the 
third time, with a voice of thunder, at the same time 
drawing his sword. 

But now Musli twisted the pole round so that the 
mud-stained end which had been sticking in the earth 
rose high in the air, ajid he said : 

" I honour you, Abdi Pasha, and I will not hurt 



you if you go away. I would rather see you fall in 
battle fighting against the Giaours, for you deserve 
to have a glorious name ; but don't ask me for this 
banner any more, for if you come a step nearer I will 
run you through the body with the dirty end." 

And at these words all the other Janissaries leaped 
to their feet and, drawing their swords, formed a 
glittering circle round the valiant Musli. 

" I am sorry for you, my brave Janissaries," 
observed the Kapudan Pasha sadly. 

"And we are sorry for you, famous Kapudan 

Then Abdi quitted the Etmeidan. He perceived 
how the crowd parted before him everywhere as he 
advanced ; but it also did not escape him that behind 
his back they immediately closed up again when he 
had passed. 

" These people can only be brought to their senses 
by force of arms," he said to himself as away he 
rode through the city, and nobody laid so much as 
a finger upon him. 

Meanwhile, in the camp outside, a great council of 
war was being held. On the news of the insurrection 
which had been painted in the most alarming colours 
by the fugitive Kiaja and the Janissary Aga, the 


Sultan had called together the generals, the Ulemas, 
the Grand Vizier, the Chief Mufti, the Sheiks, and 
the Kodzhagians in the palace by the sea-shore. 

An hour before in the same palace he had held 
a long deliberation with his aunt, the wise Sultana 

Good counsel was now precious indeed. 

The Grand Vizier opined that the army, leaving 
the Sultan behind at Brusa, should set off at once 
towards Tebrif to meet the foe. If it were found 
possible to unite with Abdullah Pasha all was won. 
Stambul was to be left to itself, and the rebels allowed 
to do as they liked there. Once let the external 
enemy be well beaten and then their turn would come 

The Chief Mufti did not believe it to be possible 
to lead the host to battle just then ; but he wished 
it to be withdrawn from Stambul, lest it should be 
affected by the spirit of rebellion. 

The Kiaja advised negociating with the rebels 
and pacifying them that way. 

At this last proposal the Sultan nodded his head 
approvingly. The Sultana Khadija was also of the 
same opinion. 

As to the mode of carrying out these negociations 
there was some slight difference of detail between the 
plan of the Kiaja and the plan of the Sultana. In 

hS halil the pedlar. 

the opinion of the former, while the negociations 
were still proceeding, the ringleaders of the rebellion 
were to be quietly disposed of one after the other, 
whereas the Sultana insinuated that the Sultan should 
appease the rebels by handing over to them the 
detested Kiaja and any of the other great officers 
of state whose heads the mob might take a fancy to. 
And that, of course, was a very different thing. 

The Sultan thought the counsel of the Kiaja the 

At that very moment, the Kapudan Pasha, Abdi, 
entered the council-chamber. 

Everybody regarded him with astonishment. Ac- 
cording to the account of the Kiaja he had already 
been cut into a thousand pieces. 

He came in with just as much sangfroid as he 
displayed when he had ridden through the rebellious 
city. He inquired of the doorkeepers as he passed 
through whether his messengers had arrived yet with 
the tulips. " No," was the reply. " Then where have 
they got to, I wonder," he muttered ; " since I quitted 
them I have been from one end of Stambul to the 

Then he saluted the Sultan, and in obedience to a 
gesture from the Padishah, took his place among the 
viziers, and they regarded him with as much amaze- 
ment as if it was his ghost that had come among them. 


" You have been in Stambul, I understand ? " in- 
quired the Grand Vizier at last. 

" I have just come from thence within the last 

"What do the people want?" asked the Padishah. 

" They want to eat and drink." 

" It is blood they would drink then," murmured 
the Chief Mufti in his beard. 

"And what do they complain about? " 

" They complain that the sword does not wage war 
of its own accord, and that the earth does not pro- 
duce bread without being tilled, and that wine and 
coffee do not trickle from the gutters of the 

" You speak very lightly of the matter, Abdi. How 
* .do you propose to pacify this uproar? " 

" The thing is quite simple. The cobblers and 
petty hucksters of Stambul are not worth a volley, 
and, besides, I would not hurt the poor things if 
possible. Many of them have wives and children. 
Those who have stirred them up are in the camp of 
the Janissaries — there you will find their leaders. It 
would be a pity, perhaps, to destroy all who have 
excited the people in Stambul to revolt, but they 
ought to be led forth regiment by regiment and every 
tenth man of them shot through the head. That 
will help to smooth matters." 


Ali the viziers were horrified. "Who would dare 
to do such a thing? " they asked. 

"That is what I would do," said Abdi bluntly. 
After that he held his peace. 

It was the Sultan who broke the silence. 

" Before you arrived," said he, " we had resolved, 
by the advice of the Kiaja Beg, to go back to the 
town with the banner of the Prophet and the princes. 

" That also is not bad counsel," said Abdi ; " thy 
glorious presence will and must quell the uproar. 
Unfurl the banner of the Prophet in front of the 
Gate of the Seraglio, let the Chief Mufti and 
Ispirizade open the Aja Sophia and the Mosque of 
Achmed, and let the imams call the people to prayer. 
Let Damad Ibrahim remain outside with the host, 
that in case of need he may hasten to suppress the 
insurgents. Let the Kiaja Beg collect together the 
jebedjis, ciauses, and bostanjis, who guard the 
Seraglio, and let them clear the streets. And if all 
this be of no avail my guns from the sea will soon 
teach them obedience." 

Sultan Achmed shook his head. 

" We have resolved otherwise," said he ; " none of 
you must quit my side. The Grand Vizier, the Chief 
Mufti, the Kapudan Pasha, and the Kiaja must come 
along with me." 

And while he told their names, one after the other, 


the Padishah did not so much as look at one of 

The names of these four men were all written up 
on the corners of the street. The heads of these 
four men had been demanded by the people and by 
Halil Patrona. 

What then was their offence in the eyes of the 
people? They were the men highest in power when 
misfortune overtook the realm. But how then had 
they offended Hahl Patrona? 'Twas they who had 
brought suffering upon Gül-Bejáze. 

The viziers bowed their heads. 

At that same instant Abdi's messengers arrived 
with the tulips. They were brought to the Padishah, 
who was enchanted by their beauty, and ordered that 
they should be conveyed to Stambul, to the Sultana 
Asseki, with the message that he himself would not 
be long after them. Moreover, he patted Abdi on 
the shoulder, and protested with tears in his eyes that 
there was none in the world v/hom he loved better. 

The Kapudan Pasha kissed the hem of the Sultan's 
robe, and then remained behind with Ibrahim, Ab- 
dullah, and the Kiaja. 

"Abdullah, and you, my brave Ibrahim, and you, 
Kiaja," said he, addressing them with a friendly smile, 
" in an hour's time our four heads will not be worth 
an earless pitcher," whereupon Damad Ibrahim sadly 


bent his head, and whispered with a voice resembHng 
a sob : 

"Poor, poor Sultan!" 

Then they all four accompanied Achmed to his 
ship. They were all fully convinced that Achmed 
would first sacrifice them all and then fall himself. 



Halil Patrona was already the master of Stambul. 

The rebel leaders had assembled together in the 
central mosque, and from thence distributed their 

At the sixth hour (according to Christian calcula- 
tion ten o'clock in the evening) the ship arrived bear- 
ing the Sultan, the princes, the magnates, and the 
sacred banner, and cast anchor beside the coast kiosk 
at the Gate of Cannons. 

Inside the Seraglio none knew anything of the 
position of affairs. All through the city a great com- 
motion prevailed with the blowing of horns, in the 
cemetery bivouac fires had been everywhere lighted. 

" Why cannot I send a couple of grenades among 
tliem from the sea?" sighed the Kapudan Pasha, 
" that would quiet them immediately, I warrant." 

As the Kizlar-Aga, Elhaj Beshir, came face to face 
with the newly arrived ministers in the ante-chamber 
where the Mantle of the Prophet was jealously 


guarded, he rubbed his hands together with an enig- 
matical smile which ill became his coarse, brutal 
countenance and cloven lips, and when the Padishah 
asked him what the rebels wanted, he replied that he 
really did not know. 

That smile of his, that rubbing of the hands, which 
had been robbed of their thumbs by the savage 
cruelty of a former master for some piece of villainy 
or other — these things were premonitions of evil to 
all the officials present. 

Elhaj Beshir Aga had now held his office for four- 
teen years, during which time he had elevated and 
deposed eight Grand Viziers. 

And now, how were the demands of the rebels to 
be discovered? 

Damad Ibrahim suggested that the best thing to 
do was to summon Sulali Hassan, a former cadi of 
Stambul, whose name he had heard mentioned by the 
town-crier along with that of Halil Patrona. 

They found Sulali in his summer house, and at the 
first summons he appeared in the Seraglio. He de- 
clared that the rebels had been playing fast and loose 
with his name, and that he knew nothing whatever 
of their wishes. 

" Then take with you the Chaszeki Aga and twenty 
bostanjis, and go in search of Halil Patrona, and find 
out what he wants ! " commanded the Padishah. 


"It is a pity to give worthy men unnecessary 
trouble, most glorious Sultan," said Abdi Pasha 
bitterly. " I am able to tell you what the rebels 
want, for I have seen it all written up on the walls. 
They demand the delivery of four of the great officers 
of state — myself, the Chief Mufti, the Grand Vizier, 
and the Kiaja. Surrender us then, O Sultan! yet 
surrender us not alive ! but slay us first and then their 
mouths will be stopped. Let them glut their appetites 
on us. You know that no wild beast is savage when 
once it has been well fed." 

The Sultan pretended not to hear these words. He 
did not even look up when the Kapudan spoke. 

" Seek out Haul Patrona ! " he said to the Chaszeki 
Aga, " and greet him in the name of the Padishah ! " 

What! Greet Halil Patrona in the name of the 
Padishah ! Greet that petty huckster in the name of 
the master of many empires, in the name of the Prince 
of Princes, Shahs, Khans, and Deys, the dominator 
of Great Moguls! Who would have believed in the 
possibility of such a thing three days ago? 

" Greet Halil Patrona in my name," said the Sultan, 
" and tell him that I will satisfy all his just demands, 
if he promises to dismiss his forces immediately after- 

The Chaszeki Aga and Sulali Plassan, with the 
twenty bostanjis, forced their way through the thick 


crowd which thronged the streets till they reached 
the central mosque. Only nine of the twenty bos- 
tanjis were beaten to death by the mob on the way, 
the eleven others were fortunate enough to reach the 
mosque at least alive. 

There, on a camel-skin spread upon the ground, 
sat Halil, the rebel leader, like a second Dzhengis 
Khan, dictating his orders and nominations to the 
softas sitting before him, whom he had appointed 
his teskeredjis. 

When the Janissaries on guard informed him that 
the Sultan's Chaszeki Aga had arrived and wanted to 
speak to him, he drily replied : 

" He can wait. I must attend to worthier men than 
he first of all." 

And who, then, were these worthier men ? 

Well, first of all there was the old master-cobbler, 
Suleiman, whom they had dragged by force from his 
house where he had been hiding under the floor. 
Halil now ordered a document to be drawn up, where- 
by he elevated him to the rank of Reis-Effendi. 

Halil Patrona, by the way, was still wearing his 
old Janissary uniform, the blue dolman with the 
salavari reaching to the knee, leaving the calves bare. 
The only difference was that he now wore a white 
heron's feather in his hat instead of a black one, and 
by his side hung the sword of the Grand Vizier, whose 


palace in the Galata suburb he had levelled to the 
ground only an hour before. 

It was with the signet in the hilt of this sword that 
Halil was now sealing all the public documents issued 
by him. 

After Suleiman came Muhammad the saddle-maker. 
He was a sturdy, muscular fellow, who could have 
held his own against any two or three ordinary men. 
Him Halil appointed Aga. 

Then came a ciaus called Orli, whom he made chief 
magistrate. Ibrahim, a whilom schoolmaster, who 
went by the name of " the Fool," he made chief Cadi 
of Stambul, and then catching sight of Sulali, he 
beckoned him forth from among the ciauses and said 
to him: 

" Thou shalt be the Governor-General of Anatolia." 

Sulali bowed to the ground by way of acknowledg- 
ment of such graciousness. 

" I thank thee, Halil! Make of me what thou wilt, 
but listen, first of all, to the message of the Padishah 
which he has entrusted to me, for I am in very great 
doubt whether it be thou or Sultan Achmed who is 
now Lord of all the Moslems. Tell me, therefore, 
what thou dost require of the Sultan, and if thy 
demands be lawful and of good report they shall be 
granted, provided that thou dost promise to disperse 
thy following." 


Then Halil Patrona stood up before the Sulali, and 
with a severe and motionless countenance answered : 

" Our demands are few and soon told. We de- 
mand the delivery to us of the four arch-traitors who 
have brought disaster upon the realm. They are 
the Kul Kiaja, the Kapudan Pasha, the Chief Mufti, 
and the Grand Vizier." 

Sulali fell to shaking his head. 

"You ask much, Halil!" 

"I ask much, you say. To-morrow I shall ask 
still more. If you agree to my terms, to-morrow 
there shall be peace. But ;f you come again to me 
to-morrow, then there will be peace neither to-morrow 
nor any other morrow." 

Sulali returned to the Sultan and his ministers who 
were still all assembled together. 

Full of suspense they awaited the message of 

Sulali dared not say it all at once. Only gradually 
did he let the cat out of the bag. 

" I have found out the demands of the insurgents," 
said he. " They demand that the Kiaja Beg be 
handed over to them." 

The Kiaja suddenly grew paler than a wax figure. 

" Such a faithful old servant as he has been to me 
too," sighed Achmed. " Well, well, hand him over, 
and now I hope they will be satisfied." 


With tottering footsteps the Kiaja stepped among 
the bostanjis. 

" They demand yet more," said Sulali. 

"What! more?" 

" They demand the Kapudan Pasha." 

" Him also. My most vaHant seaman ! " exclaimed 
Achmed sorrowfully. 

" Mashallah ! " cried the Kapudan cheerfully, " I 
am theirs," and with a look of determined courage he 
stepped forth and also joined the bostanjis. " Weep 
not on my account, oh Padishah! A brave man is 
always ready to die a heroic death in the place of 
danger, and shall I not, moreover, be dying in your 
defence ? Hale us away, bostanjis ; do not tremble, 
my sons. Which of you best understands to twist the 
string? Come, come, fear nothing, I will show you 
myself how to arrange the silken cord properly. Long 
live the Sultan ! " 

And with that he quitted the room, rather leading 
the bostanjis than being led by them, he did not 
even lay aside his sword. 

" Then, too, they demanded the Grand Vizier and 
the Chief Mufti," said Sulali. 

The Sultan, full of horror, rose from his place. 

** No, no, it cannot be. You must have heard their 
words amiss. He from whom you required an answer 
must needs have been mad, he spoke in his wrath. 


What! I am to slay the Grand Vizier and the Chief 
Mufti? Slay them, too, for faults which I myself 
have committed — faults against which they wished 
to warn me ? Why, their blood would cry to Heaven 
against me. Go back, Sulali, and say to Halil that 
I beg, I implore him not to insist that these two grey 
heads shall roll in the dust Let it suffice him if they 
are deprived of their offices and banished from the 
realm, for indeed they are guiltless. Entreat him, 
also, for the Kiaja and the Kapudan ; they shall not 
be surrendered until you return." 

Again Sulali sought out Halil. He durst not say 
a word concerning the Kiaja and the Kapudan. He 
knew that it was the Kapudan who had seized upon 
Halil's wife when she was attempting to escape by 
sea, and that it was the Kiaja who had had her shut 
up in the dungeon set apart for shameless women. 
He confined himself therefore to pleading for the 
Grand Vizier and the Chief Mufti. 

Halil reflected. The incidents which had happened 
in the palace by the Sweet Waters all passed through 
his mind. He bethought him how Damad Ibrahim 
had forced his embraces upon Gül-Bejáze, and com- 
pelled her to resort to the stratagem of the death- 
swoon, and he gave no heed to what Sulali said about 
sparing Ibrahim's grey beard. 

" The Grand Vizier must die," he answered. " As 


for Abdullah, he may remain alive, but he must be 
banished." After all, Abdullah had done no harm 
to Gül-Bejázc. 

Sulali returned to the Seraglio. 

"Halil permits the Chief Mufti to live, but he 
demands death for the three others," said he. 

At these words Achmed sprang from the divan like 
a lion brought to bay and drew his sword. 

" Come hither, then, valiant rebels, as ye are ! " cried 
he. " If you want the heads of my servants, come 
for them, and take them from me. No, not a drop 
of their blood will I give you, and if you dare to come 
for them ye shall see that the sword of Mohammed 
has still an edge upon it. Unfurl the banner of the 
Prophet in front of the gate of the Seraglio. Let all 
true believers cleave to me. Send criers into all the 
streets to announce that the Seraglio is in danger, 
and let all to whom the countenance of Allah is dear 
hasten to the defence of the Banner! I will collect 
the bostanjis and defend the gates of the Seraglio." 

The two grey beards kissed the Sultan's hand. If 
this manly burst of emotion had only come a little 
earlier, the page of history would have borne a very 
different record of Sultan Achmed. 

The Banner of Danger was immediately hung out 
in the central gate of the Seraglio, and there it re- 
mained till early the next evening. 



At dawn the criers returned and reported that they 
had not been able to get beyond the mosque of St. 
Sophia, and that the people had responded to their 
crying with showers of stones. 

The Green Banner waved all by itself in front of 
the Seraglio. Nobody assembled beneath it, even the 
wind disdained to flutter it, languidly it drooped upon 
its staff. 

The unfurling of the Green Banner on the gate of 
the Seraglio is a rare event in history. As a rule it 
only happens in the time of greatest danger, for it 
signifies that the time has come for every true Mussul- 
man to quit hearth and home, his shop and his 
plough, snatch up his weapons, and hasten to the 
assistance of Allah and his Anointed, and accursed 
would be reckoned every male Osmanli who should 
hesitate at such a time to lay down his life and his 
estate at the feet of the Padishah. 

Knowing this to be so, imagine then the extremity 
of terror into which the dwellers in the Seraglio were 
plunged when they saw that not a single soul rallied 
beneath the exposed banner. The criers promised a 
gratuity of thirty piastres to every soldier who 
hastened to range himself beneath the banner, and 
two piastres a day over and above the usual pay. 
And some five or six fellows followed them, but as 
many as came in on one side went away again on the 


other, and in the afternoon not a single soul remained 
beneath the banner. 

Towards evening the banner was hoisted on to 
the second gate beneath which were the dormitories 
of the high officers of state. The generals mean- 
while slept in the Hall of Audience, Damadzadi lay 
sick in the apartment of Prince Murad, and the 
Mufti and the Ulemas remained in the barracks of 
the bostanjis. Sultan Achmed did not lie down all 
night long, but wandered about from room to room, 
impatiently inquiring after news outside. He asked 
whether anyone had come from the host to his assist- 
ance? whether the people were assembling beneath 
the Sacred Green Banner.? and the cold sweat stood out 
upon his forehead when, in reply to all his questions, 
he only received one crushing answer after another. 
The watchers placed on the roof of the palace 
signified that the bivouac fires of the insurgents were 
now much nearer than they had been the night before, 
and that in the direction of Scutari not a single watch- 
fire was visible, from which it might be suspected 
that the army had broken up its camp, returned to 
Stambul, and made common cause with the insurgents. 
Achmed himself ascended to the roof to persuade 
himself of the truth of these assertions, and wandered 
in a speechless agony of grief from apartment to 
apartment, constantly looking to see whether the 


Kiaja, the Kapudan, and the Grand Vizier were asleep 
or awake. Only the Kapudan Pasha was able to 
sleep at all. The Kiaja was all of an ague with 
apprehension, and the Grand Vizier was praying, not 
for himself indeed, but for the Sultan. At last even 
the Kapudan was sorry for the Sultan who was so 
much distressed on their account. 

"Why dost thou keep waking us so often, oh, my 
master ? " said he, " we are still alive as thou seest. 
Go and sleep in thy harem and trouble not thy soul 
about us any more, it is only the rebels who have to 
do with us now. Allah Kerim! Look upon us as 
already sleeping the sleep of eternity. At the trump 
of the Angel of the Resurrection we also shall arise 
like the rest." 

And Achmed listened to the words of the Kapudan, 
and at dawn of day vanished from amongst them. 
When they sought him in the early morning he had 
not yet come forth from his harem. 

The four dignitaries knew very well what that 

Early in the morning, when the dawn was still red, 
Sulali Effendi and Ispirizade came for the Chief 
Mufti, and invited him to say the morning prayer 
with them. 

The Ulemas were already all assembled together, 
and at the sight of them Abdullah burst into tears 


and sobs, and said to them in the midst of his lamenta- 
tions : 

" Behold, I have brought my grey beard hither, 
and if it pleases you not that it has grown white in 
all pure and upright dealing, take it now and wash it 
in my blood ; and if ye think that the few days Allah 
hath given me to be too many, then take me and 
put an end to them." 

Then all the Ulemas stood up and, raising their 
hands, exclaimed : 

" Allah preserve thee from this evil thing ! " 

Then they threw themselves down on their faces 
to pray, and when they had made an end of praying, 
they assembled in the kiosk of Erivan in the inner 
garden where the Grand Vizier already awaited them. 
Not long afterwards arrived the Kiaja and the 
Kapudan Pasha also, last of all came the sick Damad- 
zadi and the Cadi of Medina, Mustafa Effendi, and 
Segban Pasha. 

" Ye see a dead man before you," said the Grand 
Vizier, Damad Ibrahim, to the freshly arrived 
dignitaries. " I am lost. We are the four victims. 
The Chief Mufti perhaps may save his life, but we 
three others shall not see the dawn of another day. 
It cannot be otherwise. The Sultan must be saved, 
and saved he only can be at the price of our lives." 

" I said that long ago," observed the Kapudan 


Pasha. " Our corpses ought to have been delivered 
up to the rebels yesterday, I fear it is already too late, 
I fear me that the Sultan is lost anyhow. The Banner 
of Affliction ought never to have been exposed at all, 
we should have been slain there and then." 

"You three withdraw into the Chamber of the 
Executioners," said the Grand Vizier to his colleagues, 
" but wait for me till the Kizlar-Aga arrives to demand 
from me the seals of office, till then I must perform 
my official duties." 

The three ministers then took leave of Damad 
Ibrahim, embraced each other, and were removed in 
the custody of the bostanjis. 

It was now the duty of the Grand Vizier to elect 
a new Chief Mufti from among the Ulemas. The 
Ulemas, first of all, chose Damadzadi, but he declining 
the dignity on the plea of illness, they chose in his 
stead the Cadi of Medina, and for want of a white 
mantle invested him with a green one. 

After that they elected from amongst themselves 
Seid Mohammed and Damadzadi, to receive the secret 
message of the Sultan from the Kizlar-Aga and 
deliver it to Halil Patrona. 

Damad Ibrahim was well aware of the nature of 
this secret message, and thanked Allah for setting at 
term to the life of man. 


Meanwhile Sultan Achmed was sitting in the Hall 
of Delectation with the beautiful Adsalis by his side, 
and in front of him were the four tulips which Abdi 
Pasha had presented to him the day before. 

The four tulips were now in full bloom. 

Adsalis had thrown her arms round the Sultan's 
neck, and was kissing his forehead as if she would 
charm away from his soul the thoughts which suffered 
him not to rest, or rejoice, or to love. 

He had an eye for nothing but the tulips before 
him, which he could not protect or cherish sufficiently. 
He scarce noticed that Elhaj Beshir, the Kizlar-Aga, 
was standing before him with a long MS. parchment 
stretched out in his hand. 

" Master," cried the Kizlar-Aga, " deign to read the 
answer which the Ulemas are sending to Halil 
Patrona, and if it be according to thy will give it 
the confirmation of thy signature." 

" What do they require ? " asked the Sultan softly, 
withdrawing, as he spoke, a tiny knife from his girdle, 
with the point of which he began picking away at 
the earth all round the tulips in order to make it 
looser and softer. 

" The rebels demand a full assurance that they will 
not be persecuted in the future for what they have 
done in the past." 

" Be It so I " 


" Next they demand that the Kiaja Aga be handed 
over to them." 

The Sultan cut off one of the tuHps with his knife 
and handed it to the Kizlar-Aga. 

" There, take it ! " said he. 

The Aga was astonished, but presently he under- 
stood and took the tulip. 

" Then they want the Kapudan Pasha." 

The Sultan cut off the handsomest of the tulips. 

" There you have it," said he. 

" They further demand the banishment of the Chief 

The Sultan tore up the third tulip by the roots and 
cast it from him. 

" There it is." 

"And the Grand Vizier they want also." 

The last tulip Achmed threw violently to the 
ground, pot and all, and then he covered his face. 

" Ask no more, thou seest I have surrendered every- 

Then he gave him his signet-ring in which his 
name was engraved, and the Kizlar-Aga stamped the 
document therewith, and then handed back the 
signet-ring to the Sultan. 

The Grand Vizier, meanwhile, was walking back- 
wards and forwards in the garden of the Seraglio. 
Tlie Kizlar-Aga came there in search of him, and 


with him were the envoys of Halil Patronai, Suleiman, 
whom he had made Reis-Eifendi, Orh, and SulaH. 
Elhaj Beshir approached him in their presence, and 
kissing the document signed by the Sultan, handed 
it to him. 

Damad Ibrahim pressed the writing to his fore- 
head and his lips, and, after carefully reading it 
through, handed it back again, and taking from his 
fmger the great seal of the Empire gave it to the 

" Llay he who comes after me be wiser and happier 
than I have been," said he. " Greet the Sultan from 
me once more. And as for you, tell Halil Patrona 
that you have seen the door of the Hall of the 
Executioners close behind the back of Damad 

With that the Grand Vizier looked about him in 
search of someone to escort him thither, when 
suddenly a kajkji leaped to his side and begged that 
he might be allowed to lead the Grand Vizier to the 
Hall of Execution. 

This sailor-man had just such a long grey beard 
as the Grand Vizier himself. 

"How dost thou come to know me?" inquired 
Damad Ibrahim of the old man. 

" Why we fought together, sir, beneath Belgrade, 
when both of us were young fellows together." 


"What is thy name? 

" Manoh." 

" I remember thee not.'* 

" But I remember thee, for thou (didst release me 
from captivity, and didst cherish me when I was 

"And therefore thou wouldst lead me to the 
executioner? I thank thee, Manoli!" 

All this was spoken while they were passing 
through the garden on their way to the fatal chamber 
into which Manoli disappeared with the Grand Vizier. 

The Kizlar-Aga and the messengers of the in- 
surgents waited till Manoli came forth again. He 
came out, covering his face with his hands, no doubt 
he was weeping. The Grand Vizier remained inside. 

" To-morrow you shall see his dead body," said the 
Kizlar-Aga to the new Reis-Effendi, and with that 
he sent him and his comrade back to Halil. 

" We would rather have had them alive," said the 
ex-ciaus, so suddenly become one of the chief 
dignitaries of the state. 

That same evening Halil sent back Sulali with the 
message that the Chief Mufti might go free. 

The old man quitted his comrades about midnight, 
and day had scarce dawned when he was summoned 
once more to the presence of the Grand Seignior. 

All night long the Kizlar-Aga tormented Achmed 


with the saying of the Reis-Effendi : " Wc would 
rather have them aHve ! " 

" No, no," said the Sultan, " we will not have them 
delivered up alive. It shall not be in the power of 
the people to torture and tear them to pieces. Rather 
let them die in my palace, an easy, instantaneous 
death, without fear and scarce a pang of pain, wept 
and mourned for by their friends." 

" Then hasten on their deaths, dread sir, lest the 
morning come and they be demanded while still alive." 

" Tarry a while, I say, wait but for the morning. 
" You would not surely kill them at night ! At night 
the gates of Heaven are shut. At night the phan- 
toms of darkness are let loose. You would not slay 
any living creature at night! Wait till the day 

The first ray of light had scarce appeared on the 
horizon when the Kizlar-Aga once more stood before 
the Sultan. 

" Master, the day is breaking." 

" Call hither the mufti and Sulali ! " 

Both of them speedily appeared. 

" Convey death to those who are already doomed." 

Sulali and the mufti fell down on their knees. 

"Wherefore this haste, O my master?" cried the 
aged mufti, bitterly weeping as he kissed the Sultan's 


" Because the rebels wish them to be surrendered 

" So it is," observed the Kizlar-Aga by way of 
corroboration, " the whole space in front of the kiosk 
is filled with the insurgents." 

The Sultan almost collapsed with horror. 

" Hasten, hasten ! lest they fall into their hands 

" Oh, sir," implored Sulali, " let me first go down 
with the Imam of the Aja Sophia to see whether the 
street really is filled with rebels or not ! " 

The Sultan signified that they might go. 

Sulali, Hassan, and Ispirizade thereupon hastened 
through the gate of the Seraglio down to the open 
space before the kiosk, but not a living soul did they 
find there. Not satisfied with merely looking about 
them, they wished to persuade themselves that the 
insurgents were approaching the Seraglio from some 
other direction by a circuitous way. 

Meanwhile the Sultan was counting the moments 
and growing impatient at the prolonged absence cf 
his messengers. 

" They have had time enough to cover the distance 
to the kiosk and back twice over," remarked the 
Kizlar-Aga. " No doubt they have fallen into the 
hands of the rebels who are holding them fast so that 
they may not be able to bring any tidings back." 


The Sultan was in despair. 

" Hasten, hasten then ! " said he to the Kizlar-Aga, 
and with that he fled away into his inner apartments. 

Ten minutes later Sulali and the Iman returned, 
and announced that there was not a soul to be seen 
anywhere and no si^ of anyone threatening the 

Then the Kizlar-Aga led them down to the gate. 
A cart drawn by two oxen was standing there, and 
the top of it was covered with a mat of rushes. He 
drew aside a corner of this mat, and by the uncertain 
light of dawn they saw before them three corpses, 
the Kiaja's, the Kapudan's, and the Grand Vizier's. 

"Happy Giil-Bejaze sits in Halils lap and dreamily 
allows herself to be cradled in his arms Through the 
windows of the splendid palace penetrate the shouts 
of triumph which hail Halil as Lord, for the moment, 
of the city of Stambul and the whole Ottoman 

Gül-Bcjáze tremulously whispers in Llalil's car how 
much she would prefer to dwell in a simple, lonely 
little hut in Anatolia instead of there in that splendid 

Halil smooths away the luxuriant locks from his 
wife's forehead, and makes her tell him once more 


the full tale of all those revolting- incidents which 
befell her in the Seraglio, in the captivity of the 
Kapudan's house, and in the dungeon for dishonour- 
able women. Why should he keep on arousing hatred 
and vengeance? 

The woman told him everything with a shudder. 
At her husband's feet, right in front of them, stood 
three baskets full of flowers. Halil had given them 
to her as a present. 

But at the bottom of the baskets were still more 
precious gifts. 

He draws forward the first basket and sweeps away 
the flowers. A bloody head is at the bottom of the 

"Whose is that?" 

Gül-Bejáze, all shuddering, lisped the name of 
Abdi Pasha. 

He cast away the flowers from the second basket, 
there also was a bloody head. 

"And whose is that?" 

" That is the Kiaja Begs," sobbed the terrified girl. 

And now Halil brought forward the third basket, 
and dashing aside from it the fresh flowers, revealed 
to the eyes of Gül-Bejáze a grey head with a white 
beard, which lay with closed eyes at the bottom of 
the basket. 

"Whose is that?" inquired Halil. 


Gül-Bejáze's tender frame shivered in the arms of 
the strong man who held her, as he compelled her 
to gaze at the bloody heads. And when she regarded 
the third head she shook her own in amazement. 

" I do not know that one." 

" Not know it ! Look again and more carefully. 
Perchance Death has changed the expression of the 
features. That is Damad Ibrahim the Grand Vizier." 

Gül-Bejáze regarded her husband with eyes wide- 
open with astonishment, and then hastened to reply : 

" Truly it is Damad Ibrahim. Of course, of course. 
Death hath disfigured his face so that I scarce knew 

" Did I not tell thee that thou shouldst make sport 
with the heads of those who made sport with thy 
heart? Dost thou want yet more? " 

"Oh, no, no, Halil. I am afraid of these also. I 
am afraid to look upon these dumb heads." 

" Then cover them over with flowers, and thou wilt 
believe thou dost see flower-baskets before thee." 

" Let me have them buried, Halil. Do not make 
me fear thee also. Thou wouldst have me go on 
loving thee, wouldst thou not? If only thou wouldst 
come with me to Anatolia, where nobody would know 
anything about us! " 

"What dost thou say? Go away now when the 
very sun cannot set because of me, and men cannot 


sleep because of the sound of my name? Dost not 
thou also feel a desire to bathe in all this glory? " 

" Oh, Halil ! the rose and the palm grow up 
together out of the same earth, and yet the palm 
grows into greatness while the rose remains quite 
tiny. Suffer me but gently to crouch beside thee, 
dispense but thy love to me, and keep thy glory to 

Halil tenderly embraced and kissed the woman, 
and buried the three baskets as she desired in the 
palace garden beneath three wide-spreading rosemary 

Then he took leave of Gül-Bejáze, for deputies 
from the people now waited upon their leader, and 
begged him to accompany them to the mosque of 
Zuleima, where the Sultan's envoys were already 
waiting for an answer. 

In order to get to the mosque more easily and avoid 
the labour of forcing his way through the crowd that 
thronged the streets, Halil hastened to the water side, 
got into the first skiff he met with, and bade the 
sailor row him across to the Zuleima Mosque on the 
other side. 

On the way his gaze fell upon the face of the 
sailor who was sitting opposite to him. It was a 
grey-bearded old man. 

"What is thy name, worthy old man?" inquired Halil. 


" My name is Manoli, your Excellency." 

" Call me not Excellency ! Dost thou not perceive 
from my raiment that I am nothing but a common 
Janissary? " 

" Oh ! I know thee better than that. Thou art 
Halil Patrona, whom may Allah long preserve ! " 

" Thou also dost seem very familiar to me. Thou 
hast just such a white beard as had Damad Ibrahim 
who was once Grand Vizier." 

" I have often heard people say so, my master." 

On arriving opposite the Zuleima Mosque, the boat- 
man brought the skiff ashore. Hahl pressed a golden 
denarius into the old man's palm, the old man kissed 
his hand for it. 

Then for a long time Halil gazed into the old 
man's face. 


" At thy command, my master." 

" Thou seest the sun rising up yonder behind the 

"Yes, my master." 

" Before the shadows return to the side of yon hills 
take care to be well behind them, and let not another 
dawn find thee in this city ! " 

The boatman bent low with his arms folded across 
his breast, then he disappeared in his skiff. 

But Halil Patrona hastened into the mosque. 



The Sultan's ambassadors were awaiting him. 
Sheik Suleiman came forward 

" Halil ! " said he, " the bodies of the three dead 
men I have given to the people and their heads I 
have sent to thee." 

*' Who were they ? " asked Halil darkly. 

" The first was the corpse of the Kiaja Beg, his 
body was cast upon the cross-ways through the 
Etmeidan Gate." 

"And the second?" 

" The Kapudan Pasha, his body was flung down 
in front of the fountains of Khir-Kheri." 

"And the third?" 

" Damad Ibrahim, the Grand Vizier. His body we 
flung out into the piazza in front of the Seraglio, at 
the foot of the very fountains which he himself caused 
to be built." 

Halil Patrona cast a searching look at the Sheik's 
face, and coldly replied : 

"Know then, oh. Sheik Suleiman, that thou liest, 
The third corpse was not the body of Damad Ibrahim 
the Grand Vizier. It was the body of a sailor named 
Manoli, who greatly resembled him, and sacrificed 
himself in Damad's behalf. But the Grand Vizier 
has escaped and none can tell where he is. Go now, 
and tell that to those who sent thee hither ! " 



The dead bodies of the victims were still lying in 
the streets when Sultan Achmed summoned the 
Ulemas to the cupolaed chamber. His countenance 
was dejected and sad. 

Before coming to the council-chamber he had 
kissed all his children, one by one, and when it came 
to the turn of his httle ten-year-old child, Bajazid, 
he saw that the little fellow's eyes were full of tears 
rjid he inquired the reason why. The child replied : 

" Father, it is well with those who are thy enemies 
and grievous for them that love thee. What then 
will be our fate who love thee best of all? Amongst 
the wives of our brethren thou wilt find more than 
one in grey mourning weeds. Look, I prythee, at 
the face of Ummettulah ; look at the eyes of Sabiha, 
and the appearance of Ezma, They are all of them 
widows and orphans, and it is thou who hast caused 
their fathers and husbands to be slain." 

** To save thee I have done it," stammered Achmed. 
pressing the child to his breast. 


" Thou wilt see that thou shalt not save us after 
all," sighed Bajazid. 

In the years to come these words were to be as an 
eternal echo in the ears of Achmed. 

So he sat on his throne and the Ulemas took their 
places around him on the divans covered with 
kordofan leather. Opposite to him sat the chief 
imam, Ispirizade. Sulali sat beside him. 

" Lo, the blood of the victims has now been poured 
forth," said Achmed in a gloomy, tremulous voice, 
" I have sacrificed my most faithful servants. Speak ! 
What more do the rebels require? Why do they 
still blow their field trumpets? Why do they still 
kindle their bivouac fires? What more do they want?" 

And the words of his little son rang constantly 
in his ears : " It is well with those who are thy 
enemies and grievous for them that love thee." 

No one replied to the words of the Sultan. 

"Answer, I say! What think ye concerning the 

Once more deep silence prevailed. The Ulemas 
looked at one another. Many of them began to 
nudge Sulali, who stood up as if to speak, but im- 
mediately sat down again without opening his mouth. 

" Speak, I pray you ! I have not called you hither 
to look at me and at one another, but to give answers 
to my questions." 


And still the Ulemas kept silence. Dumbly they 
sat around as if they were not living men but only 
embalmed corpses, such as are to be found in the 
funeral vaults of the Pharaohs grouped around the 
royal tombs. 

" 'Tis wondrous indeed ! " said Achmed, when the 
whole Council had remained dumb for more than a 
quarter of an hour. " Are ye all struck dumb then 
that ye give me no answer ? " 

Then at last Ispirizade rose from his place. 

" Achmed ! " he began — with such discourteous 
curtness did he address the Sultan! 

" Achmed ! 'tis the wish of Halil Patrona that thou 
descend from the throne and give it up to Sultan 
Mahmud . . ." 

Achmed sat bolt upright in his chair. After the 
words just uttered every voice in the council-chamber 
was mute, and in the midst of this dreadful silence 
the Ulemas were terrified to behold the Padishah 
stand on the steps of the throne, extend his arm 
towards the imam, fix his eyes steadily upon him, and 
open his lips from which never a word proceeded. 

Thus for a long time he stood upon the throne with 
hand outstretched and parted lips, and his stony 
e}'es fixed steadily upon the imam, and those who 
saw it were convulsed by a feeling of horror, and 
Ispirizade felt his limbs turn to stone and the light 


of day grow dim before his eyes in the presence of 
that dreadful figure which regarded him and pointed 
at him. It was, as it were, a dumb curse — a dumb, 
overpowering spell, which left it to God and His 
destroying angels to give expression to his wishes, 
and read in his heart and accomplish that which he 
himself was incapable of pronouncing. 

The whole trembling assembly collapsed before the 
Sultan's throne, crawled to his feet and, moistening 
them with their tears, exclaimed : 

" Pardon, O master ! pardon ! " 

An hour before they had unanimously resolved that 
Achmed must be made to abdicate, and now they 
unanimously begged for pardon. But the deed had 
already been done. 

The hand of the Padishah that had been raised 
to curse sank slowly down again, his eyes half closed, 
his lips were pressed tightly together, he thrust his 
hands into the girdle of his mantle, looked down for 
a long time upon the Ulemas, and then quietly 
descended the steps of the throne. On reaching the 
pavement he remained standing by the side of the 
throne, and cried in a hollow tremulous voice : 

" I have ceased to reign, let a better than I take 
my place. I demand but one thing, let those who 
are at this moment the lords of the dominion of 
Osman swear that they will do no harm to my 


children. Let them swear it to me on the Alkoran. 
Take two from amongst you and let them convey my 
desire to Halil." 

Again a deep silence followed upon Achmed's 
words. The Ulemas fixed their gaze upon the 
ground, not one of them moved or made even a show 
of conveying the message. 

"Perhaps, then, ye wish the death of my children 
also? Or is there not one of you with courage 
enough to go and speak to them ? " 

A very aged, tremulous, half paralyzed Ulema was 
there among them, the dervish Mohammed, and he 
it was who at length ventured to speak. 

" Oh, my master ! who is valiant enough to speak 
with a raging lion, who hath wit enough to come to 
. terms with the burning tempest of the Samum, or who 
would venture to go on an embassy to the tempest- 
tost sea and bandy words therewith ? " 

Achmed gazed darkly, doubtfully upon the Ulema, 
and his face wore an expression of repressed despair. 
Sulali had compassion on the Sultan. 
" I will go to them," he said reassuringly ; " remain 
here, oh, my master, till I return. Of a truth I tell 
thee that I will not come back till they have sworn 
to do what thou desirest." 

And now Ispirizade said that he also would go 
with Sulali. He had not sufficient strength of mind 


to endure the g^aze of the Sultan till Sulali should 
return. Far rather would he go with him also to the 
rebels. Besides they already understood each other 
very well. 

The envoys found Halil sitting under his tent in 
the Etmeidan. 

Sulali drew near to him and delivered the message 
of the Sultan. 

But he did not deliver it in the words of Achmed. 
He neither begged nor implored, nor mingled his 
request with bitter lamentations as Achmed had done, 
but he spoke boldly and sternly, without picking his 
words, as Achmed ought to have done. 

" The Padishah would have his own life and the 
lives of his children guaranteed by oath," said he to 
the assembled leaders of the people. " Swear, there- 
fore, on the Alkoran that you will respect them, and 
swear it in the names of your comrades likewise. 
The Padishah is resolved that if you refuse to take 
this oath he will blow up the Seraglio and every 
living soul within it into the air with gunpowder." 

The rebels were impressed by this message, only 
Halil Patrona smiled. He knew very well that such 
a threat as this never arose in the breast of Achmed. 
His gentle soul was incapable of such a thing. 
So he folded his arms across his breast and 


Then the chief imam fell down in the dust before 
him, and said in a humble voice : 

" Listen not, O Halil, to the words of my com- 
panion. The Padishah humbly implores you for his 
life and the lives of his children." 

Halil wrinkled his brow and exclaimed angrily : 

" Rise up, Ulema, grovel not before me in the name 
of the Sultan. Those who would slay him deal not 
half so badly with them as thou who dost humiliate 
him. Sulali is right. The Sultan is capable of great 
deeds. I know that the cellars of the Seraglio are 
full of gunpowder, and I would not that the blossoms 
of the Sheik-ul-Islam and the descendants of the 
Prophet should perish. Behold, I am ready, and my 
comrades also, to swear on the Alkoran to do no 
harm either to Sultan Achmed, or his sons, or his 
daughters, or his daughters' husbands. Whoso- 
ever shall raise his hand against them his head I 
myself will cut in twain, and make the avenging 
Angels of Allah split his soul in twain also, so that 
each half may never again find its fellow. Go back 
and peace rest upon Achmed." 

Sulali flew back with the message, but Ispirizade 
hastened to the Aja Sophia mosque to give directions 
for the enthronement of the new Sultan. 

Meanwhile Achmed had assembled his sons around 
him in the cupolaed chamber, and sitting down on the 


last step of the throne made them take their places 
round his feet, and awaited the message which was 
to bear the issues of life and death. 

Sulali entered the room with a radiant countenance, 
carrying in his hand the copy of the Alkoran, on 
which Halil and his associates had sworn the oath 
required of them. He laid it at the Sultan's 

"Live for ever, oh, Sultan!" he cried, "and may 
thy heart rejoice in the prosperity of thy children ! " 

Achmed looked up with a face full of gratitude, 
and thanked Allah, the Giver of all good and perfect 

His children embraced him with tears in their eyes, 
and Achmed did not forget to extend his hand to 
Sulali, who first raised it to his forehead and then 
pressed it to his lips. 

Then Achmed sent the Kizlar-Aga for Sultan 
Mahmud, surnamed " the White Prince," from the 
pallor of his face, to summon him to his presence. 

Half an hour later, accompanied by Elhaj Beshir, 
Prince Mahmud arrived. He was the son of 
Mustapha IL, who had renounced the throne in favour 
of Achmed just as Achmed was now resigning the 
throne in favour of Mahmud. 

The Sultan arose, hastened towards him, embraced 
hiiTi, and kissed him on the forehead. 


" The people desire thee to ascend the throne. 
Be merciful to my children just as I was merciful to 
thy father's children." 

Sultan Mahmud did obeisance to his uncle, and 
seizing his hand, as if it were worthy of all honour, 
reverently kissed it. 

Then Achmed beckoned to his sons, and one by 
one they approached Mahmud, and kissed his hand. 
And all the time the Ulemas remained prostrate on 
the ground around them. 

Then Achmed took the new sovereign by the right 
hand, and personally conducted him into the chamber 
of the Mantle of the Prophet. There, standing in 
front of the throne, he took from his hand the 
diamond clasp, the symbol of dominion, and with 
his own hand fastened it to the turban of the new 
Sultan, and placing his hand upon his head, solemnly 
blessed him. 

" Rule and prosper ! May those thou lovest love 
thee also, and may those that thou hatest fear thee. 
Be glorious and powerful while thou livest, and may 
men bless thy name and magnify thy memory when 
thou art dead ! " 

Then Achmed and his children thrice did obeisance 
to Mahmud, whereupon taking his two youngest sons 
by the hand, with a calm and quiet dignity, he quitted 
the halls of dominion which he was never to behold 


again, abandoning, one after another, every single 
thing which had hitherto been so dear to him. 

In the Hall of Audience he gave up the Sword of 
the Prophet to the Silihdar, who unbuckled it from 
his body, and when he came to the door leading to 
the harem he handed over his children to the Kizlar- 
Aga, telling him to greet the Sultana Asseki in his 
name, and bid her remember him and teach his little 
children their father's name. 

For henceforth he will see no more his sharp sword, 
or the fair Adsalis, or the other dear damsels, or his 
darling children. He must remain for ever far away 
from them behind the walls of a dungeon. A deposed 
Sultan has nought whatever to do with swords or 
wives or children. The same fate befell Mustapha II. 
six-and-twenty years before. He also had to part 
with his sword, his wives, and his children in just the 
same way. And this Achmed had good cause to 
remember, for then it was that he ascended the throne. 
And now he, in his turn, descended from the throne, 
and now that had happened to him for his successor's 
sake which had happened to his predecessor for his 

íí- » * * -* 

But the great men of the realm bowed their heads 
to the ground before Sultan Mahmud and did him 


The long procession of those who came to do him 
obeisance filled all the apartments of the Seraglio 
and lasted till midnight. The whole Court bent head 
and knee before the new Sultan, and the chief officers 
of state, the clergy, and the eunuchs followed suit. 
Only the captains of the host and Halil Patrona still 
remained behind. 

Hastily written letters were dispatched to all the 
captains and to all the rebels, informing them that 
Sultan Achmed had been deposed and Sultan 
Mahmud was reigning in his stead ; let them all come, 
therefore, at dawn of day next morning and do 
homage to the new Padishah. 

The moon had long been high in the heavens and 
was shining through the coloured windows of the 
Séraíjlio when the magnates withdrew and Mahmud 
remained alone. 

Only the Kizlar-Aga awaited his pleasure — the 
Kizlar-x^ga whose sooty face seemed to cast a black 
shadow upon itself. 

Mahmud extended his hand to him with a smile 
that he might kiss it. 

And then Elhaj Beshir conducted him to the door 
of those secret apartments within which bloom the 
flowers of bliss and rapture, and throwing it open 
bent low while the new Sultan passed through. 

Only three among the peris of loveliness had 


preferred eternal loveless slavery to the favours of the 
new Padishah, and among those who smiled upon 
the young Sultan as he entered the room, the one 
who had the happiest, the most radiant face, was the 
fair Adsalis, who still remained the favourite wife, 
the Sultana Asseki, even after the great revolution 
which had turned the whole Empire upside down and 
made the least to be the greatest and the greatest to 
stand lowest of all. 

Among so many smiling faces hers was the one 
towards which the tremulously happy and enraptured 
Sultan hastened full of tender infatuation; she it 
was whom he raised to his breast and in whose arms 
he soothed himself with dreams of glory, while she 
stifled his anxieties with her kisses. 

Everything was asleep in the Halls of Felicity, only 
Love was still awake. Mahmud, forgetful alike of 
himself and his empire, pressed to his bosom his 
dear enchanting Sultana, the most precious of all the 
treasures he had won that day ; but the fair Sultana 
shuddered from time to time in the midst of his 
burning embrace. It seemed to her as if someone 
was standing behind her back, sobbing and sighing 
and touching her warm bosom with his cold fingers. 

Perchance she could hear the sighing and the 
sobbing of him who lay sleepless far, far below that 
bower of rapture, in one of the cold vaults of the 


Place of Oblivion, thinking of his lost Empire and 
his lost Eden! 

Early next morning the chief captains of the host, 
the Bashas and the Sheiks, appeared in the Seraglio 
to greet the new Sultan. It was only the leaders of 
the rebels who did not come. 

Ever since Sulali had frightened the insurgents by 
telling them that the cellars of the Seraglio were full 
of gunpowder, they did not so much as venture to 
draw near it, and when the pubhc criers recited the 
invitation of Mahmud in front of the mosques, thou- 
sands and thousands of voices shouted as if from one 
throat : 

" We will not come ! " 

. Not one of them would listen to the invitation from 
the Seraglio. 

" It is a mere ruse," observed the wise Reis-Effendi. 
" They only want to entice us into a mouse-trap to 
crush us all at a blow like flies caught in honey." 

" A short cut into Paradise that would be," scorn- 
fully observed Orh, who, despite his office of softa, 
did not hesitate to speak disrespectfully even of 
Paradise, whither every true believer ought joyfully 
to hasten. 

Last of all " crazy " Ibrahim gave them a piece 
of advice. 


" 'Twill be best," said he, " to gather together from 
among us our least useful members — any murderers 
there may happen to be, or escaped gaol-birds for 
instance ; call them Hahl, Musli, and Suleiman, deck 
them out in the garments of Agas, Begs, and Ulemas, 
and send them to the Seraglio. Then, if we see 
them return to us safe and sound, we can, of course, 
go ourselves." 

This crazy counsel instantly met with general 
applause. Everyone approved of it, of that there 
could be no doubt. 

Halil Patrona regarded them all in contemptuous 
silence. Only when " crazy " Ibrahim's proposal had 
been resolved upon did he stand up and say :, 

" I myself will go to the Seraglio." 

Some of them regarded him with amazement, others 
laughed. Musli clapped his hands together in his 

" HaHl ! dost thou dream or art thou beside thy- 
self? Dost thou imagine thyself to be one of the 
Princes of the Thousand and One Nights who can 
hew his way through monsters and spectres, or art 
thou wearied of beholding the sun from afar and 
must needs go close up to him? " 

" 'Tis no concern of thine what I do, and if I am 
not afraid what need is there for thee to be afraid 
on my account ? "- 


"But, prythee, bethink thee, Hahl! It would be 
a much more sensible jest on thy part to leap into 
the den of a lioness suckling her young- ; and thou 
wouldst be a much wiser man if thou wert to adven- 
ture thyself in the sulphur holes of Balsorah, or cause 
thyself to be let down, for the sake of a bet, into the 
coral-beds at the bottom of the Sea of Candia to pick 
up a bronze asper,* instead of going to the Seraglio 
where there are now none but thine enemies, and 
where the very atmosphere and the spider crawling 
■down the wall is venomous to thee and thy deadly 

" They may kill me," cried Halil, striking his bosom 
with both hands and boldly stepping forward — " they 
may kill me it is true, but they shall never be able to 
say that I was afraid of them. They may tear my 
limbs to pieces, but when it comes to be recorded 
in the Chronicles that the rabble of Constantinople 
were cowards, it shall be recorded at the same time 
that, nevertheless, there was one man among them 
who could not only talk about death but could look 
it fairly between the eyes when it appeared before him.' 

" Listen, Halil ! I and many more like me are 
capable of looking into the very throat of loaded 
cannons. Many is the time, too, that I have seen 
sharp swords drawn against me, and no lance that 

• Farthing. 


ever hath left the smith's hand can boast that I have 
so much as winked an eye before its gUttering point. 
But what is the use of valour in a place where you 
know that the very ground beneath your feet has 
Hell beneath it, and it only needs a spark no bigger 
than that which flashes from a man's eye when he 
has received a buffet, and we shall all fly into the air. 
Why, even if both our hands were full of swords 
and pistols, not one of them could protect us — so who 
would wish to be brave there? " 

" Have I invited thee to come? Did I not say that 
I would go alone ? " 

" But we won't let thee go. What art thou thinking 
about? If they destroy thee there we shall be with- 
out a leader, and we shall fall to pieces and perish 
like the rush-roof of a cottage when the joists are 
suddenly pulled from beneath it. And thou thyself 
wilt be a laughing-stock to the people, like the cock 
of the fairy tale who spitted and roasted himself." 

" That will never happen," said Halil, unbuckling 
his sword (for no weapon may enter the Seraglio) and 
handing it to Musli ; " take care of it for me till I 
return, and if I do not return it will be something to 
remember me by." 

" Then thou art really resolved to go ? " inquired 
Musli. " Well, in that case, I will go too." 

At these words the others also began to bestir 


themselves, and when they saw that Halil really was 
not joking, they accompanied him right up to the 
Seraglio. Into it indeed they did not go ; but, any- 
how, they surrounded the huge building which forms 
a whole quarter of the city by itself, and as soon as 
they saw Halil pass through the Seraglio gates they 
set up a terrific shout. 

Alone, unarmed, and without an escort, the rebel 
leader passed through the strange, unfamiliar rooms, 
and at every door armed resplendent sentries made 
way before him, closing up again, with pikes crossed, 
before every door when he had passed through 

On reaching the Hall of Audience, a couple of 
Kapu-Agasis seized him by the arm, and led him into 
the Cupola Chamber where Sultan Mahmud received 
those who came to render homage. 

In all the rooms was that extraordinary pomp which 
is only to be seen on the day when a new Sultan has 
ascended the throne. The very ante-chamber, " The 
Mat-Room/' as it is called, because of the variegated 
straw-mats with which it is usually covered, was now 
spread over with costly Persian carpets. The floor 
of the Cupola Chamber looked like a flower-bed. Its 
rich pile carpets were splendidly embroidered with 
gold, silver, and silken flowers of a thousand hues, 
interspersed with wreaths of pearls. At the foot of 


a sofa placed on an elevated dais glistened a coverlet 
of pure pearls. On each side of this sofa stood a 
little round writing-table inlaid with gold. On one 
of these tables lay an open portfolio encrusted with 
precious stones and writing materials flashing with 
rubies and emeralds ; on the other lay a copy of the 
Alkoran, bound in black velvet and studded with rose 
brilliants. Another copy of the Alkoran lay open on 
a smaller table, written in the Talik script in letters 
of gold, cinnabar, and ultramarine ; and there were 
twelve other Korans on just as many other tables, 
with gold clasps and pearl-embroidered bindings. On 
both sides of the hre-place, on stands that were 
masterpieces of caxving, were heaped up the gala 
mantles exhibited on such occasions ; and side by side, 
along the wall, on raised alabaster pedestals were 
nine clocks embeUished with figures, each more in- 
genious than the other, which moved and played music 
every time the hour struck. Four large Venetian 
mirrors multiplied the extravagant splendours of the 
stately room. 

Around the room on divans sat the chief dignitaries 
of the Empire, the viziers, the secretaries, the pre- 
senters of petitions according to rank, in splendid 
robes, and with round, pyramidal or beehive-shaped 
turbans according to the nature of their office. 

Yet all this pomp was utterly eclipsed by the 


splendour which radiated from the new Padishah ; he 
seemed enveloped in a shower of pearls and diamonds. 
Whichever way he turned the roses embroidered on 
his dress, the girdle which encircled his loins, the 
clasp of his turban, and every weapon about him 
seemed to scatter rainbow sparks, so that those who 
gazed at him were dazzled into blindness before they 
could catch a glimpse of his face. 

Behind the back of the throne, flashing with car- 
buncles as large as nuts, stood' a whole army of 
ministering servants with their heads plunged deep 
in their girdles. 

It was into this room that HaKl entered. 

On the threshold his two conductors released his 
arm, and HaHl advanced alone towards the Padishah. 

His face was not a whit the paler than at other 
times, he stepped forth as boldly and gazed around 
him as confidently as ever. 

His dress, too, was just the same as hitherto — a 
simple Janissary mantle, a blue dolman with divided 
sleeves, without any ornament, a short salavari, or 
jerkin, reaching to the knee, leaving the lower part of 
the legs bare, and the familiar roundish kuka on his 

As he passed through the long apartment he cast 
a glance upon the dignitaries sitting around the 
throne, and there was not one among them who could 


withstand the fire of his gaze. With head erect he 
advanced in front of the Sultan, and placing his 
muscular, half-naked foot on the footstool before the 
throne stood there, for a moment, hke a figure cast 
in bronze, a crying contrast to all this tremulous 
pomp and obsequious splendour. Then he raised 
his hand to his head, and greeted the Sultan in a 
strong sonorous voice : 

"Aleikum unallah! The grace of God be upon 
thee ! " 

Then folding his hands across his breast he flung 
himself down before the throne, pressing his fore- 
head against its steps. 

Mahmud descended towards him, and raised him 
from the ground with his own hand. 

" Speak ! what can I do for thee ? " he asked with 

" My wishes have already been fulfilled," said 
Halil, and every word he then uttered was duly 
recorded by the chronicler. " It was my wish that 
the sword of Mahomet should pass into worthy hands ; 
behold it is accomphshed, thou dost sit on the throne 
to which I have raised thee. I know right well what 
is the usual reward for such services — a shameful 
death awaits me." 

Mahmud passionately interrupted him. 

" And I swear to thee by my ancestors that no 


harm shall befall thee. Ask thine own reward, and 
it shall be granted thee before thou hast yet made an 
end of preferring thy request." 

Halil reflected for a moment, and all the time his 
gaze rested calmly on the faces of the dignitaries 
sitting before him. His gaze passed down the whole 
row of them, and he took them all in one by one. 
Everyone of them believed that he was seeking a 
victim whose place he coveted. The rebel leader 
read this thought plainly in the faces of the digni- 
taries. Once more he ran his eyes over them, then 
he spoke. 

" Glorious Padishah ! as the merit of thy elevation 
belongeth not to me but to thy people, let the reward 
be theirs whose is the merit. A heavy burden 
oppresses thy slaves, and the name of that burden is 
Malikane. It is the farming out of the taxes for the 
lives of the holders thereof which puts money into the 
pockets of the high officers of state and the pashas, 
so that the Subhme Porte derives no benefit there- 
from. Abolish, O Padishah, this farming out of the 
revenue, so that the destiny of the people may be in 
thy hands alone, and not in the hands of these rich 
usurers ! " 

And with these words he waved his hand defiantly 
in the direction of the viziers and the magnates. 

Deep silence fell upon them. Through the closed 


doors resounded the tempestuous roar of the multi- 
tudes assembled around the Seraglio. Those within 
it trembled, and Halil Patrona stood there among 
them like an enchanter who knows that he is in- 
vulnerable, immortal. 

But the Sultan immediately commanded the Ciaus 
Aga to proclaim to the people with a trumpet-blast 
at the gates of the Seraglio, that at the desire of 
Halil Patrona the Malikane was from this day forth 

The shout which arose the next moment and made 
the very walls of the Seraglio tremble was ample 
evidence of the profound impression which this an- 
nouncement made. 

"And now place thyself at the head of thy host," 
said Halil, " accept the invitation of thy people to go 
to the Ejub mosque, in order that the Sihhdars may 
gird thee with the Sword of the Prophet according 
to ancient custom." 

The Sultan thereupon caused it to be announced 
that in an hour's time he would proceed to the mosque 
of Ejub, there to be girded with the Sword of the 

With a shout of joy the people pressed towards the 
mosque in their thousands, crowding all the streets 
and all the house-tops between the mosque and the 
Seraglio. The cannons of the Bosphorus sent 


thundering messages to the distant mountains of the 
joy of Stambul, and an hour later, to the sound of 
martial music, Mahmud held his triumphal progress 
through the streets of his capital on horseback ; and 
the people waved rich tapestries at him from the 
house-tops and scattered flowers in his path. Behind 
him came radiant knightly viziers and nobles, and 
venerable councillors in splendid apparel on gorgeous 
full bloods ; but in front of him walked two men 
alone, Halil Patrona and Musli, both in plain, simple 
garments, with naked calves, on their heads small 
round turbans, and with drawn swords in their hands 
as is the wont of the common Janissaries when on 
the march. 

And the people sitting on the house-tops shouted 
the name of Halil just as often and just as loudly as 
they shouted the name of Mahmud. 

The firing of the last salvo announced that the 
Sultan had arrived at the Ejub mosque. 

Ispirizade, the chief imam of the Aja Sophia 
mosque, already awaited him. He had asked Halil 
as a favour that he might bless the new Sultan, and 
HaHl had granted his request. Since he had ven- 
tured into the Seraglio everyone had obeyed his 
words. The people now whispered everywhere that 
the Sultan was doing everything which Halil Patrona 


Ispirizade had already mounted the lofty pulpit 
when Mahmud and his suite took their places on the 
lofty dais set apart for them. 

The chief priest's face was radiant with triumph. 
He extended his hands above his head and thrice 
pronounced the name of Allah. And when he had 
thus thrice called upon the name of God, his lips 
suddenly grew dumb, and there for a few moments 
he stood stiffly, with his hands raised towards Heaven 
and wide open eyes, and then he suddenly fell down 
dead from the pulpit. 

" 'Tis the dumb curse of Achmed ! " whispered the 
awe-stricken spectators to one another. 



The surgujal — the turban with the triple gold circlet 
— was on the head of Mahmud, but the sword, the 
sword of dominion, was in the hand of Halil Patrona. 
The people whose darling he had become were accus- 
tomed to regard him as their go-between in their 
petty affairs, the host trembled before him, and the 
magnates fawned upon him for favour. 

In the Osman nation there is no hereditary nobiHty, 
everyone there has risen to the highest places by his 
sword or his luck. Every single Grand Vizier and 
Kapudan Pasha has a nickname which points to his 
lowly origin ; this one was a woodcutter, that one a 
stone-mason, that other one a fisherman. Therefore 
a Mohammedan never looks down upon the most 
abject of his co-religionists, for he knows very well 
that if he himself happens to be uppermost to-day 
and the other undermost, by to-morrow the whole 
world may have turned upside down, and this last 
may have become the first. 


So now also a petty huckster rules the realm, and 
Sultan Mahmud has nothing to think about but his 
fair women. Who can tell whether any one of us 
would not have done likewise? Suppose a man to 
have been kept in rigorous, joyless servitude for 
twenty years, and then suddenly to be confronted 
with the alternative — "reign over hearts or over an 
empire" — ^would he not perhaps have chosen the 
hearts instead of the empire for his portion? 

At the desire of the beauteous Sultana Asseki the 
insurrection of the people had no sooner subsided 
than the Sultan ordered the Halwet Festival to be 

The Halwet Festival is the special feast of women, 
when nobody but womankind is permitted to walk 
about the streets, and this blissful day may come to 
pass twice or thrice in the course of the year. 

On the evening before, it is announced by the 
blowing of horns that the morrow will be the Feast 
of Halwet. On that day no man, of whatever rank, 
may come forth in the streets, or appear on the roof 
of a house, or show himself at a window, for death 
would be the penalty of his curiosity. The black 
and white eunuchs keeping order in the streets de- 
capitate without mercy every man who does not 
remain indoors. Notices that this will be done are 
posted up on all the boundary-posts in the suburbs 


of the city, that strangers may regulate their con- 
duct accordingly. 

On the day of the feast of Halwet all the damsels 
discard their veils, without which at all other times 
they are not permitted to walk about the streets. 
Then it is that the odalisks of one harem go forth to 
call upon the odalisks of another. Rows upon rows of 
brightly variegated tents appear in the midst of the 
streets and market-places, in which sherbet and other 
beverages made of violets, cane-sugar, rose-water, 
pressed raisins, and citron juice, together with sweet- 
meats, honey-calves, and such-like dehcacies, to which 
women are so partial, are sold openly, and all the 
sellers are also women. 

Ah ! what a spectacle that would be for the eyes 
of a man ! Every street is swarming with thousands 
and thousands of bewitching shapes. These women, 
released from their prisons, are like so many gay and 
thoughtless children. Group after group, singing to 
the notes of the cithern, saunter along the public 
ways, decked out in gorgeous butterfly apparel, which 
flutter around their limbs like gaily coloured wings. 
The suns and stars of every climate flash and sparkle 
in those eyes. The whole gigantic city resounds with 
merry songs and musical chatter, and any man who 
could have seen them tripping along in whole lines 
might have exclaimed in despair : " Why have I not 


a hundred, why have I not a thousand hearts to give 
away ! " 

And then when the harem of the Sultan proudly 
paces forth! Half a thousand odahsks, the love- 
linesses of every province in the Empire, for whom 
the youths of whole districts have raved in vain, in 
garments radiant with pearls and precious stones, 
mounted on splendid prancing steeds gaily caparisoned. 
And in the midst of them all the beautiful Sultana, 
with the silver heron's plume in her turban, whose 
stem flashes with sparkling diamonds. Her glorious 
figure is protected by a garment of line lace, scarce 
concealing the snowy shimmer of her well-rounded 
arms. She sits upon the tiger-skin saddle of her 
haughty steed like an Amazon. The regard of her 
flashing eyes seems to proclaim her the tyrant of two 
Sultans, who has the right to say : " I am indeed my 
husband's consort ! " 

In front and on each side of the fairy band march 
four hundred black eunuchs, with naked broadswords 
across their shoulders, looking up at the windows of 
the houses before which they march to see whether, 
perchance, any inquisitive Peeping- Toms are lurking 

Dancing and singing, this bevy of peris traverses 
the principal streets of Stambul. Every now and 
then, a short sharp wail or scream may be heard 


round the corner of the street the procession is 
approaching : the eunuchs marching in front have got 
hold of some inquisitive man or other. By the time 
the radiant cortege has reached the spot, only a few 
bloodstains are visible in the street, and, dancing and 
singing, the fair company of damsels passes over it 
and beyond. Scarce anyone would believe that those 
wails and screams did not form part and parcel of 
the all-pervading cries of joy. 

Meanwhile in the Etmeidan a much more free- 
and-easy sort of entertainment is taking place. The 
women of the lower orders are there diverting them- 
selves in gaily adorned tents, where they can buy as 
much mead as they can drink, and in the midst of 
the piazza on round, outspread carpets dance the 
bayaderes of the streets, whom Sultan Achmed had 
once collected together and locked up in a dungeon 
where they had remained till the popular rising set 
them free again. In their hands they hold their 
nakaras (timbrels), clashing them together above their 
heads as they whirl around ; on their feet are bronze 
bangles ; and their long tresses and their light bulging 
garments flutter around them, whilst with wild 
gesticulations they dance the most audacious of 
dances, compared with whose voluptuous movements 
the passion of the fiercest Spanish bailarina is almost 
tame and spiritless. 


Suddenly one of these street dancing-girls scream 
aloud to her companions in the midst of the mazy 
dance, bringing them suddenly to a standstill. 

" Look, look ! " she cried, '' there comes Gül-Bejáze ! 
Gül-Bejáze, the wife of Halil Patrona." 

" Gül-Bejáze ! Gül-Bejáze ! " resound suddenly on 
every side. The bayaderes recognise the woman 
who had been shut up with them in the same dungeon, 
surround her, begin to kiss her feet and her gar- 
ments, raise her up in their arms on to their 
shoulders, and so exhibit her to all the women 
assembled together on the piazza. 

" Yonder is the wife of Halil Patrona ! " they cry, 
and Rumour quickly flies with the news all through 
the city. Everyone of the bayaderes dancing among 
the people has something to say in praise of her. 
Some of them she had cared for in sickness, others she 
had comforted in their distress, to all of them she 
had been kind and gentle. And then, too, it was 
she who had restored them their liberty, for was it 
not on her account that Halil Patrona had set them 
all free ? 

Everyone hastened up to her. The poor thing 
could not escape from the clamorous enthusiasm of 
the sturdy muscular fish-wives and bathing women 
who, in their turn also, raised her upon their shoulders 
and carried her about, finally resolving to carry her 


all the way home for the honour of the thing. So 
for Halil Patrona's palace they set off with Giil- 
Bejáze on their shoulders, she all the time vainly 
imploring them to put her down that she might hide 
away among the crowd and disappear, for she feared, 
she trembled at, the honour they did her. From 
street to street they carried her, whirling along with 
them in a torrent of drunken enthusiasm everyone 
they chanced to fall in with on the way ; and before 
them went the cry that the woman whom the others 
were carrying on their shoulders was the wife of 
Halil Patrona, the feted leader of the people, and 
ever denser and more violent grew the crowd. Any 
smaller groups they might happen to meet were swept 
along with them. Now and then they encountered 
the harems of the greatest dignitaries, such as pashas 
and beglerbegs. It was all one, the august and 
exalted ladies had also to follow in the suite of the 
wife of Halil Patrona, the most powerful man in the 
realm, whose wife was the gentlest lady under Heaven. 
Suddenly, just as they were about to turn into the 
great square in front of the fortress of the Seven 
Towers, another imposing crowd encountered them 
coming from the opposite direction. It was the escort 
of the Sultana. The half a thousand odalisks and 
the four hundred eunuchs occupied the whole width 
of the road, but face to face with them were advancing 


ten thousand intoxicated viragoes led by the frantic 

" Make way for the Sultana ! " cried the running 
eunuchs to the approaching crowd, " make way for the 
Sultana and her suite ! " 

The execution of this command bordered on the 
impossible. The whole space of the square was filled 
with women — a perfect sea of heads — and visible 
above them all was a quivering, tremulous white 
figure which they had raised on high. 

" Make way for the Sultana ! " screamed the Kadun- 
Kiet-Khuda, who led the procession ; a warty old 
woman she was, who had had charge of the harem 
for years and grown grey in it. 

At this one of the boldest of the bayaderes thrust 
herself forward. 

" Make way thyself, thou bearded old witch," she 
cried ; " make way, I say, before the wife of Halil 
Patrona. Why, thou art not worthy to kiss the dust 
ofl: her feet. Stand aside if thou wilt not come along 
with us." 

And with these words she banged her tambourine 
right under the nose of the Kadun-Kiet-Khuda. 

And then the bad idea occurred to some of the 
eunuchs to lift their broadswords against the 
boisterous viragoes, possibly with a view of cutting 
a path through them for the Sultana. 


Ah! before they had time to whirl their swords 
above their heads, in the twinkhng of an eye, their 
weapons were torn from their hands, and their backs 
were well-belaboured with the broad blades. The 
furious maenads fell upon their assailants, flung them 
to the ground, and the next instant had seized tlie 
bridles of the steeds of the odalisks. 

The Kizlar-Aga was fully alive to the danger which 
threatened the Sultana. The whole square was 
thronged with angry women who, with faces flushed 
and sparkling eyes, were rushing upon the odalisks. 
Any single eunuch they could lay hold of was pretty 
certain to meet with a martyr's death in a few seconds. 
They tore him to pieces, and pelted each other with 
the bloody fragments before scattering them to the 
winds. Elhaj Beshir, therefore, earnestly implored 
the Sultana to turn back and try to regain the 

Adsahs cast a contemptuous look on the Aga. 

" One can see that thou art neither man nor 
woman," cried she, " for if thou wert one or the other, 
thou wouldst know how to be coura^reous." 

Then she buried the point of her golden spurs in 
the flank of her steed, and urged it towards the spot 
where the most frantic of the maenads stood fighting 
with the mounted odalisks, tearing some from their 
horses, rending their clothes, and then by way of 


mockery remounting them with their faces to the 
horses' tails. 

Suddenly the Sultana stood amongst them with a 
haughty, commanding look, like a demi-goddess. 

" Who is the presumptuous wretch who would bar 
the way before me ? " she cried in her clear, pene- 
trating voice. 

One of the odalisks planted herself in front of the 
Sultana and, resting one hand upon her hip, pointed 
with the other at Gül-Bejáze! 

" Look ! " she cried, " there is Gül-Bejáze, and she it 
is who bars thy way and compels thee to make room 
for her." 

Gül-Bejáze, whom the women had brought to the 
spot on their shoulders, wrung her hands in her 
desperation, and begged and prayed the Sultana for 
forgiveness. She endeavoured to explain by way of 
pantomime, for speaking was impossible, that she was 
there against her will, and it was her dearest wish to 
humble herself before the face of the Sultana. It 
was all of no use. The yells of the wild Bacchantes 
drowned every sound, and Adsalis did not even con- 
descend to look at her. 

" Ye street-sweepings ! " exclaimed Adsalis passion- 
ately, "what evil spirit has entered into you that ye 
would thus compel the Sultana Asseki to give way 
before a pale doll?" 


" This woman comes before thee," replied the 

" Comes before me ? " said Adsalis, " wherefore, 
then, does she come before me?" 

" Because she is fairer than thou." 

Adsahs' face turned blood-red with rage at these 
words, while Gül-Bejáze went as white as a lily, as 
if the other woman had robbed all her colour from 
her. There was shame on one side and fury on the 
other. To tell a haughty dame in the presence of 
ten, of twenty thousand persons, that another woman 
is fairer than she! 

" And she is more powerful than thou art," cried 
the enraged bayadere, accumulating insult on the 
head of Adsalis, " for she is the wife of Halil Patrona." 
• Adsalis, in the fury of despair, raised her clenched 
hands towards Heaven and could not utter a word. 
Impotent rage forced the tears from her eyes ; and 
only after these tears could she stammer : 

" This is the curse of Achmed ! " 

When they saw the tears in the eyes of the Sultana, 
everyone for a moment was silent, and suddenly, 
amidst the stillness of that dumb moment, from the 
highest window of the prison-fortress of the Seven 
Towers, a man's voice called loudly into the square 
below : 

"Sultana Adsalis! Sultana Adsalis!" 


" Ha ! a man ! a man ! " cried the furious mob ; and 
in an instant they all gazed in that direction — and 
then in a murmur which immediately died away in 
an awe-struck whisper : " Achmed ! Achmed ! " 

Only Adsalis was incapable of pronouncing that 
name, only her mouth remained gaping open as she 
gazed upwards. 

There at the window of the Seven Towers stood 
Achmed, in whose hands was now a far more terrible 
power than when they held the wand of dominion, 
for in his fingers now rests the power of cursing. It 
is sufficient now for him to point the finger at those 
he loves not, in order that they may wither away in 
the bloom of their youth. Whomsoever he now 
breathes upon, however distant they may be, will 
collapse and expire, and none can save them ; and 
he has but to pronounce the name of his enemies, and 
torments will consume their inner parts. The destroy- 
ing angel of Allah watches over his every look, so that 
on whomsoever his eye may fall, that soul is instantly 
accursed. Since the death of Ispirizade the people 
fear him more than when he sat on the throne. 

A deep silence fell upon the mob. Nobody dared 
to speak. 

And Achmed stretched forth his hand towards 
Adsalis. Those who stood around the Sultana felt 
a feeling of shivering awe, and began to withdraw 


from her, and she herself durst not raise her 

" Salute that pure woman ! " cried the tremulous 
voice of Achmed, " do obeisance to the wife of HaHl 
Patrona, and cover thy face before her, for she is the 
true consort of her husband." 

And having uttered these words, Achmed withdrew 
from the window whither the noise of the crowd had 
enticed him, and the multitude clamoured as before ; 
but now they no longer tried to force the suite of 
the Sultana to make way before Gül-Bejáze, but 
escorted Halil Patrona's wife back to the dwelling- 
place of her husband. 

Adsalis, desperate with rage and shame, returned 
to the Seraglio. Sobbing aloud, she cast herself at 
the feet of the Sultan, and told him of the disgrace 
that had befallen her. 

Mahmud only smiled as he heard the whole story, 
but who can tell what was behind that smile. 

"Dost thou not love me, then, that thou smilcst 
when I weep? Ought not blood to flow because 
tears have flowed from my eyes? " 

Mahmud gently stroked the head of the Sultana 
and said, still smiling : 

"Oh, Adsalis! who would ever think of plucking fruit 
before it is ripe?'' 



Halil Patrona was sitting on the balcony of the 
palace which the Sultan and the favour of the people 
had bestowed upon him. The sun was about to set. 
It sparkled on the watery mirror of the Golden Horn, 
hundreds and hundreds of brightly gleaming flags 
and sails flapped and fluttered in the evening 

Gül-Bejáze was lying beside him on an ottoman, 
her beautiful head, with a feeling of languid bliss, 
reposed on her husband's bosom, her long eye-lashes 
drooping, whilst with her swan-like arms she encircled 
his neck. She dozes away now and then, but the 
warm throb-throb of the strong heart which makes 
her husband's breast to rise and fall continually 
arouses her again. Halil Patrona is reading in a big 
clasped book beautifully written in the ornamental 
Talik script. Gül-Bejáze does not know this writing ; 
its signs are quite strange to her, but she feasts her 


delighted eyes on the beautifully painted festoons and 
lilies and the variegated birds with which the initial 
letters are embellished, and scarce observes what a 
black shadow those pretty gaily coloured, butterfly- 
like letters cast upon Halil's face. 

"What is the book thou art reading?" inquired 

" Fairy tales and magic sentences," replied 

" Is it there that thou readest all those nice stories 
which thou tellest me every evening? '* 

" Yes, they are here." 

" Tell me, I pray thee, what thou hast just been 
reading? " 

" When thou art quite awake," said Halil, raptur- 
ously gazing at the fair face of the girl who was 
sleeping in his arms — and he continued turning over 
the leaves of the book. 

And what then was in it? What did those brightly 
coloured letters contain? What was the name of the 

That book is the " Takimi Vekai." 

Ah ! ask not a Mussulman what the " Takimi 
Vekai " is, else wilt thou make him sorrowful ; neither 
mention it before a Mohammedan woman, else the 
tears will gush from her eyes. The " Takimi Vekai " 
is " The Book of the Sentences of the Future," which 


was written a century and a half ago by Said Achmed- 
ibn Mustafa, and which has since been preserved in 
the Muhamedije mosque, only those high in authority 
ever having the opportunity of seeing it face to 

Those golden letters embellished with splendid 
flowers contain dark sayings. Let us listen : 

" Takimi Vekai " — The Pages of the Future. 

" On the eighth-and-twentieth day of the month 
Rubi-Estani, in the year of the Hegira, 886,* I, Said 
Achmed-ibn Mustafa, Governor of Scutari and scribe 
of the Palace, having accomplished the Abdestanf 
and recited the Fatehaí with hands raised heaven- 
wards, ascended to the tower of Ujuk Kule, from 
whence I could survey all Stambul, and there I began 
to meditate. 

"And lo! the Prophet appeared before me, and 
breathed upon my eyes and ears in order that I 
might see and hear nothing but what he commanded 
me to hear and see. 

" And I wrote down those things which the Prophet 
said to me. 

" The Giaours already see the tents of the foreign 
hosts pitched on the Tsiragan piazza, already see the 
half-moon cast down, and the double cross raised on 

* 1481 A.D. f Ablutions before prayers. 
I The first section of the Koran. 


the towers of the mosques, the khanzé* plundered, 
and the faithful led forth to execution. In the Fanar 
quarterst they are already assembling the people, 
and saying to one another : ' To-morrow ! to-morrow ! * 
"Yet Allah is the God who defends the Padishah 
of the Ottomans. Their Odzhakjaiksí will scatter 
terror. Allah Akbar ! God is mighty ! 

"And the captains of the galleys, and the rowers 
thereof, and the chief of the gunners, and the corsairs 
of the swift ships will share with one another the 
treasures and the spoils of the unbelievers. 

"And the Padishah shall rule over thirteen 

" But lo ! a dark cloud arises in the cold and distant 
North. A foe appears more terrible and persistent 
than the Magyars, the Venetians, or the Persians. 
He is still tender like the fledgelings of the hawks of 
the Balkans, but soon, very soon, he will learn to 
spread his pinions. Up, up, Silihdar Aga, the Sultan's 
Sword-bearer ! Up, up, Rechenbtar Aga, the Sultan's 
Stirrup-holder ; up, up, and do your duty. And yc 
viziers, assemble the reserves. Those men who come 
from the land where the pines and firs raise their 
virgin branches towards Heaven, they long after the 

* The Imperial Treasury. 

t The part of Stamhul inhabited by the Greeks. 

X Companies of horse. 


warm climates where the olive, the lestisk, the tere- 
binth, and the palm lift their crowns towards Heaven. 
The fathers point out Stambul to their sons, they 
point it out as the booty that will give them suste- 
nance ; tender women lay their hands upon the sword 
to use it against the Osmanli, and will fight like 
heroes. Yet the days of the Sons of the Prophet will 
not yet come to an end ; they will resist the enemy, 
and stand fast like a Salamander in the midst of the 
burning embers. 

" The years pass over the world, again the Giaours 
assemble in their myriads and threaten vengeance. 
But the Divan answers them : ' Olmaz ! ' — it cannot 
be. The Anatolian and the Rumelian lighthouses, at 
the entrance of the Bosphorus, will signal from their 
watch-towers the approach of the foreign war-ships. 

" But this shall be much later, after three-and- 
twenty Padishahs have ruled over the thirteen nations; 
then and not till then will the armies of the Un- 
believers assemble before Stambul. Woe, woe unto 
us! Eternally invincible should the Osmanlis remain 
if they walked, with firm footsteps, according to the 
commands of the Koran. But a time will come when 
the old customs will fall into oblivion, when new 
ways will creep in among Mussulmen like a rattle- 
snake crawling into a bed of roses. Faith will no 
longer give strength against those men of ice, and 


they will enter the nine-and-twenty gates of the 
seven-hilled city. 

" Lo ! this did the Prophet reveal to me in the 
season of El-Ashsör, beginning at the time of sun- 

" Allah give his blessing to the rulers of this world." 
Thus ran the message of the " Takimi Vekai." 
Halil Patrona had read these lines over and over 
again until he knew every letter of them by heart. 
They were continually in his thoughts, in his dreams, 
and the eternally recurring tumult of these anxious 
bodings allowed his soul no rest. What if it were 
possible to falsify this prophecy ! What if his strong 
hand could but stay the flying wheel of Fate in mid 
career, hold it fast, and turn it in a different direction ! 
so that what was written in the Book of Thora before 
Sun and Moon were ever yet created might be ex- 
punged therefrom, and the guardian angels be com- 
pelled to write other things in place thereof! 

But such an idea ill befits a Mussulman ; it is not 
the mental expression of that pious resignation with 
which the Mohammedan fortifies himself against the 
future, submissive as he is to the decrees of Fate, with 
never a thought of striving against the Powers of 
Omnipotence with a mortal hand. Ambitious, world- 
disturbing were the thoughts which ran riot in the 
brain of Halil Patrona — thoughts meet for no mere 


mortal. Poor indeed are the thoughts of iHan. He 
piles world upon world, and sets about building for 
the ages, and then a light breath of air strikes upon 
that which he has built and it becomes dust. Where- 
fore, then, does man take thought for the morrow? 

The night slowly descended, the glow of the 
southern sky grew ever paler on the half-moons of 
the minarets, till they grew gradually quite dark and 
the cry of the muezzin resounded from the towers of 
the mosques. 

"Allah Kerim! Allah Akbar! La illah il Allah, 
Mohammed rasul Allah ! God is sublime. God is 
mighty. There is one God and Mohammed is his 

And after a few moments he called again : 

" Come, ye people, to the rest of God, to the abode 
of righteousness ; come to the abode of felicity ! " 

Gül-Bejáze awoke. Hahl washed his hands and 
feet, and turning towards the mehrab* began to pray. 

But in vain he sent away Gül-Bejáze (for women are 
not permitted to be present at the prayers of men 
nor men at the prayers of women) ; in vain he raised 
his hands heavenwards ; in vain he went down on his 
knees and lay with his face touching the ground ; 
other thoughts were abroad in his heart — terrifying, 
disturbing thoughts which suggested to him that the 

* Ta1)lets indicatinii the direction in which Mecca lies. 


God to Whom he prayed no longer existed, but just 
as His Kingdom here on earth was falHng to pieces 
so also in Heaven it was on the point of vanishing. 
Thrice he was obliged to begin his prayer all over 
again, for thrice it was interrupted by a cough, and 
it is not lawful to go on with a prayer that has once 
been interrupted. Once more he cast a glance upon 
the darkened city, and it grieved him sorely that no- 
where could he perceive a half-moon ; whereupon 
he went in again, sought for Gül-Bejáze, and told 
her lovely fairy tales which, he pretended, he had been 
reading in the Talik book. 

The next day Halil gathered together in his secret 
chamber all those in whom he had confidence. 
Among them were Kaplan Giraj, a kinsman of the 
Khan of the Crimea, Musli, old Vuodi, Mohammed 
the dervish, and Sulali. 

Sulali wrote down what Halil said. 

" Mussulmans. Yesterday, before the Abdestan, I 
was reading the book whose name is the * Takimi 
Vekai.' " 

"Mashallah!" exclaimed all the Mohammedans 

" In that book the overthrow of the Ottoman 
Empire is predicted. The year, the day is at hand 
when the name of Allah will no longer be glorified 
on this earth, when the tinkling of the sheep-bells 


will be heard on the ruins of the marble fountains, 
and those other bells so hateful to Allah will resound 
from the towers of the minarets. In those days the 
Giaours will play at quoits with the heads of the true 
believers, and build mansions over their tombs." 

" Mashallah ! the will of God be done ! " said old 
dervish Mohammed with a shaking voice, " by then 
we shall all of us be in Paradise, up in the seventh 
Heaven, the soil whereof is of pure starch, ambergris, 
musk, and saffron. There, too, the very stones are 
jacinths and the pebbles pure pearls, and the Tuba- 
tree shields the faithful from the heat of the sun, as 
they rest beneath it and gaze up at its golden flowers 
and silver leaves, and refresh themselves with the 
milk, wine, and honey which flow abundantly from its 
sweet and glorious stem. There, too, are the dwell- 
ings of Mohammed and the Prophets his predecessors, 
in all their indescribable beauty, and over the roof of 
every true believer bend the branches of the sacred 
tree, whose fruits never fail, nor wither, nor rot, and 
there we shall all live together in the splendour of 
Paradise where every true believer shall have a palace 
of his own. And in every palace two-and-seventy 
lovely houris will smile upon him — ^young virgins of 
an immortal loveliness— -whose faces will never grow 
old or wrinkled, and who are a hundred times more 
affectionate than the women of this world'' 


Halil listened with the utmost composure till grey- 
beard Vuodi had delivered his discourse concerning 
the joys of Paradise. 

" All that you say is very pretty and very true no 
doubt, but let your mind also dwell upon what the 
Prophet has revealed to us concerning the dis- 
tribution of rewards and punishments. When the 
angel Azrael has gently separated our souls from 
our bodies, and we have been buried with the double 
tombstone at our heads, on which is written : ' Dame 
Allah huti ale Remaeti,'* then will come to us the 
two Angels of Judgment, Monker and Nakir. And 
they will ask us if we have fulfilled the precepts of 
the Prophet. What shall our trembHng lips reply to 
them? And when they ask us whether we have 
def-ended the true faith, whether we have defended 
our Fatherland against the Infidels, what shall we 
then reply to them? Blessed, indeed; will be those 
who can answer : * I have done all which it was com- 
manded me to do,' their spirits will await the final judg 
ment in the cool abodes of the Well of Ishmael. But 
as for those who shall answer : ' I saw the danger which 
threatened the Osmanli nation, it was in my power 
to help and I did it not,' their bodies will be scourged 
by the angels with iron rods and their souls will be 
thrust into the abyss of Morhut there to await the 

• " God be for CTcr gracious to him." 


judgment-day. And when the trump of the angel 
Israfil shall sound and the Marvel from the Mountain 
of Safa doth appear to write ' Mumen '* or * Giaour 'f 
on the foreheads of mankind ; and when Al-DallajaJ 
comes to root out the nation of the Osmanli, and the 
hosts of Gog and Magog appear to exterminate the 
Christians, and drink up the waters of the rivers, and 
at the last all things perish before the Mahdi ; then 
v/hen the mountains are rent asunder and the stars 
fall from Heaven, when the archangels Michael and 
Gabriel open the tombs and bring forth the trembling, 
death-pale shapes, one by one, before the face of 
Allah, and they all stand there as transparent as 
crystal so that every thought of their hearts is visible 
— what then will you answer, you in whose power 
it once stood to uphold the dominion of Mahomet, 
you to whom it was given to have swords in your 
hands and ideas in your heads to be used in its 
defence — what will you answer, I say, when you hear 
the brazen voice cry : * Ye who saw destruction 
coming, did ye try to prevent it?' What will it 
profit you then, old Vuodi and ye others, to say that 
ye never neglected the Abdestan, the Güzül, and the 
Thiiharet ablutions, nor the five prayers of the 
Namazat, that ye have kept the fast of Ramazan and 
the feast of Bejram, that ye have richly distributed 

* Btlicvcr. f Unbeliever. J Anti-Christ, 


the Zakato* and the Sadakato,t that you have made 
the pilgrimage to the Kaaba at Mecca so many times, 
or so many times, that you have kissed the sin- 
remitting black stone, that you have drunk from the 
well of Zemzem and seven times made the circuit of 
the mountain of Arafat and flung stones at the Devil 
in the valley of Dsemre — what will it profit you, I 
say, if you cannot answer that question? Woe to 
you, woe to everyone of us who see, who hear, and 
yet go on dreaming ! For when we tread the Bridge 
of xMshirat, across whose razor-sharp edge every true 
believer must pass on his way to Paradise, the load 
of a single sin will drag you down into the abyss, 
down into Hell, and not even into the first Hell, 
Gehenna, where the faithful do penance, nor into 
•the Hell of Ladhana, where the souls of the Jews 
are purified, nor into the Hell of Hotama wherein 
the Christians perish, nor into the Hell of Sair which 
is the abode of the Heretics, nor into the Hell of 
Sakar wherein the fire-worshippers curse the fire, nor 
yet into the Hell of Jahim which resounds with the 
yells of the idol-worshippers, but into the seventh 
hell, the deepest and most accursed hell of all, whose 
name is Al-Havija, where wallow those who only did 
God lip-service and never felt the faith in their hearts, 
for we pray lying prayers when we say that we 

• The prescribed almsgiving, f Voluntary almsgiving. 


worship Allah and yet allow His Temple to be 

These words deeply moved the hearts of all present. 
Every sentence alluded to the most weighty of the 
Moslem beliefs; the meshes of the net with which 
Halil had taken their souls captive were composed 
of the very essentials of their religious and political 
system, so they could but put their hands to their 
breasts, bow down before him, and say: 

" Command us and we will obey ! " 

Then Halil, with the inspiration of a seer, addressed 
the men before him. 

" Woe to us if we believe that the days of threaten- 
ing are stili far off ! Woe to us if we believe that the 
sins which will ruin the nation of Osman have not 
yet been committed! While our ancestors dwelt in 
tents of skin, half the world feared our name, but 
since the nation of Osman has strutted about in silk 
and velvet it has become a laughing-stock to its 
enemies. Our great men grow gardens in their 
palaces ; they pass their days in the embraces of 
women, drinking wine, and listening to music; they 
loathe the battlefield, and oh, horrible! they blas- 
pheme the name of Allah. If among the Giaours, 
blasphemers of God are to be found, I marvel not 
thereat, for their minds are corrupted by the multi- 
tude of this world's knowledge;, but how can a 


Mussulman raise his head against God — a Mussulman 
who has never learnt anything in his life save to 
glorify His Name? And what are we to think when 
on the eve of the Feast of Halwet we hear a Sheik, 
a descendant of the family of the Prophet, a Sheik 
before whom the people bow reverently when they 
meet him in the street — what are we to think, I say, 
when we hear this Sheik say before the great men 
of the palace all drunk with wine : * There is no 
Allah, or if there is an Allah he is not almighty ; for 
if he were almighty he would have prevented me 
from saying, there is no Allah ! * " 

A cry of horror arose from the assembled Mussul- 
mans which only after a while died away in an angry 
murmur like a gradually departing gust of wind. 

'' Who was the accursed one ? " exclaimed Moham- 
med dervish, shaking his clenched fist threateningly. 

" It was Uzun Abdi, the Aga of the Janissaries," 
replied Halil, "who said that, and the others only 

" Let them all be accursed! " 

"Wealth has ruined the heart of the Osmanli," 
continued Halil. " Who are they who now control 
the fate of the Realm? The creatures of the Sultana, 
the slaves of the Kizlar-Aga, the Izoglani, whose licen- 
tiousness will bring down upon Stambul the judgment 
of Sodom and Gomorrah. It is from thence we get 


our rulers and our treasurers, and if now and then 
Fate causes a hero to plump down among them he 
also grows black like a drop of v/ater that has fallen 
upon soot ; for the treasures, palaces, and odaHsks of 
the fallen magnates are transferred to the new 
favourite, and ruin him as quickly and as completely 
as they ruined his predecessors ; and so long as these 
palaces stand by the Sweet Waters more curses than 
prayers will be heard within the walls of Stambul, 
so that if ye want to save Stambul, ye must burn 
down these palaces, for as sure as God exists these 
palaces will consume Stambul" 

" We must go to the Sultan about it," said the 
dervish Mohammed. 

" Pulled down they must be, for no righteous man 
dwells therein. The whole of this Empire of Stone 
must come down, whoever is so much as a head taller 
than his brethren is a sinner. Let us raise up those 
who are lowest of all. Down from your perches, ye 
venal voivodes, khans, and pashas, who buy the 
Empire piecemeal with money and for money barter 
it away again! Let men of war, real men though 
Fame as yet knows them not, step into your places. 
The very atmosphere in which ye live is pestiferous 
because of you. For some time now, gold and silver 
pieces, stamped with the heads of men and beasts, 
have been circulating in our piazzas, although, as we 


all know, no figures of living things should appear 
on the coins of the Mussulman. Neither Russia, 
nor Sweden, nor yet Poland pay tribute to us ; and 
yet, I say, these picture-coins still circulate among 
us. Oh! ever since Baltaji suffered White* Mustache, 
the Emperor of the North, to escape, full well ye 
know it! gold and silver go further and hit the mark 
more surely than iron and lead. We must create 
a new world, none belonging to the old order of things 
must remain among us. Write dov/n a long, long 
list, and carry it to the Grand Vizier. If he refuses 
to accept it, write another in his place on the hst, and 
take it to the Sultan. Woe betide the nation of 
Osman if it cannot find within it as many just men as 
its needs require ! " 

The assembled Mussulmans thereupon drew up in 
hot haste a long hst of names in which they proposed 
fresh candidates for all the chief offices of the Empire. 
They put down Choja Dzhanum as the new Kapudan 
Pasha, Mustafa Beg as the new Minister of the 
Interior, Musli as the new Janissary Aga ; the actual 
judges and treasurers were banished, the banished 
judges and treasurers were restored to their places ; 
instead of Maurocordato, who had been educated 
abroad, they appointed his enemy, Richard Rakovitsa, 
surnamed Djihan, Voivodc of Wallachia ; instead of 

* IVtcr the Great. Tlie allusion is to the I'cace DÍihc I'liilh. 


Ghyka they placed the butcher of Pera, Janaki, 
on the throne of Moldavia; and instead of Mengli 
Giraj, Khan of the Crimea, Kaplan Giraj, actually 
present among them, was called to ascend the throne 
of his ancestors. 

Kaplan Giraj pressed Haul's hand by way of ex- 
pressing his gratitude for this mark of confidence. 

And, oddly enough, as Halil pressed the hand of 
the Khan, it seemed to him as if his arm felt an 
electric shock. What could it mean? 

But now Musli stood up before him. 

" Allow me," said he, " to go with this writing to 
the Grand Vizier. You have been in the Seraglio 
already, let mine be the glory of displaying my valour 
by going thither likewise ! Do not take all the glory 
to yourself, allow others to have a little of it too! 
Besides, it does not become you to carry your own 
messages to the Divan. Why even the Princes of 
the Giaours do not go there themselves but send their 

Halil Patrona gratefully pressed the Janissary's 
hand. He knew right well that he spoke from no 
desire of glorification, he knew that Musli only wanted 
to go instead of him because it was very possible 
that the bearer of these demands might be 

Once again MusU begged earnestly of Halil that 


the delivery of these demands might be entrusted to 
him, and so proudly did he make his petition that it 
was impossible for Halil Patrona to deny him. 

Now Musli was a sly dog. He knew very well that 
it was a very risky business to present so many de- 
mands all at once, but he made up his mind that he 
would so completely take the Grand Vizier by sur- 
prise, that before he could find breath to refuse the 
demands of the people, he would grant one of them 
after another, for if he swallowed the first of them 
that was on the list, he might be hoodwinked into 
swallowing the rest likewise. 

The new Grand Vizier went by the name of Kaba- 
kulak, or Blunt-ear, because he was hard of hearing, 
which suited Musli exactly, as he had, by nature, a 
bad habit of bawling whenever he spoke. 

At first Kabakulak would not listen to anything 
at all. He seemed to have suddenly gone stone- 
deaf, and had every single word repeated to him three 
times over ; but when Musli said to him that if he 
would not listen to what he was saying, he, Musli, 
would go off at once to the Sultan and tell him, 
Kabakulak opened his ears a little wider, became 
somewhat more gracious, and asked Mush, quite 
amicably, what he could do for him. 

Musli felt his courage rising many degrees since 
he began bawling at a Grand Vizier. 


" Haul Patrona commands it to be done," he 
bellowed in Kabakulak's ear. 

The Vizier threw back his head. 

" Come, come, my son ! " said he, " don't shout in 
my ear like that, just as if I were deaf. What did 
you say it was that Halil Patrona begs of me ? " 

" Don't twist my words, you old owl! " said Musli, 
naturally sotto voce. Then raising his voice, he 
added, " Halil Patrona wants Dzhanum Choja ap- 
pointed Kapudan Pasha." 

" Good, good, my son ! just the very thing I 
wanted done myself ; that has been resolved upon 
long ago, so you may go away home." 

" Go away indeed ! not yet ! Then Wallachia 
wants a new voivode." 

" It has got one already, got one already I tell you, 
my son. His name is Maurocordato. Bear it in mind 
— Mau-ro-cor-da-to." 

'' I don't mean to bother my tongue with it at alL 
As I pronounce it it is — Djihan." 

"Djihan? Who is Djihan?" 

" Djihan is the Voivode of Wallachia." 

"Very well, you shall have it so. And what do 
you want for yourself, my son, eh ? " 

Mush was inscribed in the list as the Aga of the 
Janissaries, but he was too modest to speak of himself." 

"Don't trouble your head about me, Kabakulak, 


while there are so many worthier men unprovided 
for. We want the Khan of the Crimea deposed and 
the banished Kaplan Giraj appointed in his stead." 

" Very well, we will inform Kaplan Giraj of his 
promotion presently." 

" Not presently, but instantly. Instantly, I say, 
without the least delay." 

Musli accompanied his eloquence with such gesticu- 
lations that the Grand Vizier thought it prudent to 
fall back before him. 

"Don't you feel well?" he asked Musli, who had 
suddenly become silent. In his excitement he had 
forgotten the other demands. 

"Ah! I have it," he said, and sitting down on the 
floor at his ease, he took the list from his bosom and 
extending it on the floor, began reciting Halil 
Patrona's nominations seriatim. 

The Grand Vizier approved of the whole thing, 
he had no objection to make to anything. 

Musli left Janaki's elevation last of all .- " He you 
must make Voivode of Moldavia," said he. 

Suddenly Kabakulak went quite deaf. He could 
not hear a word of Musli's last demand. 

Musli drew nearer to him, and making a speaking- 
trumpet out of his hands, bawled in his ear : 

" Janaki I am talking about." 

"Yes, yes! I hear, I hear. You want him to be 


allowed to provide the Sultan's kitchen with the flesh 
of bullocks and sheep. So be it ! He shall have the 

" Would that the angel Izrafil might blow his 
trumpet in thine ear ! " said MusH to himself sotto 
voce. "I am not talking of his trade as a butcher," 
added he aloud. " I say that he is to be made Prince 
of Moldavia." 

Kabakulak now thought it just as well to show 
that he heard what had been asked, and repHed very 
gravely : 

"You know not what you are asking. The 
Padishah, only four days ago, gave this office to Prince 
Ghyka, who is a wise and distinguished man. The 
Sultan cannot go back from his word." 

" A wise and distinguished man ! " cried Musli in 
amazement. " What am I to understand by that ? Is 
there any difference then between one Giaour and 
another ? " 

" The Sultan has so ordered it, and without his 
knowledge I cannot take upon myself to alter his 

" Very well, go to the Sultan then and get him to 
undo again what he has done. For the rest you can 
do what you like for what I care, only beware of one 
thing, beware lest you lose the favour of Halil 


Kabakulak by this time had had nearly enough of 
Mush, but the latter still continued diligently to con- 
sult his list. He recollected that Halil Patrona had 
charged him to say something else, but what it was 
he could not for the life of him call to mind. 

" Ah, yes ! now I have it ! " he cried at last. " Halil 
commands that those nasty palaces which stand by 
the Sweet Waters shall be burnt to the ground." 

" I suppose, my worthy incendiaries, you will next 
ask permission to plunder Stambul out and out ? " 

" It is too bad of you, Kabakulak, to speak like 
that. Halil does not want the palaces burnt for the 
love of the thing, but because he does not want the 
generals to have an asylum where they may hide, 
plant flowers, and wallow in vile delights just when 
they ought to be hastening to the camp. If every 
pasha had not his paradise here on earth and now, 
many more of them would desire the heavenly 
Paradise. That is why Halil Patrona would have all 
those houses of evil luxury burnt to the ground." 

" May Halil Patrona live long enough to see it 
come to pass. This also will I report to the Sultan." 

" Look sharp about it then ! I will wait in your 
room here till you come back." 

" You will wait here ? " 

" Yes, never mind about me ! I have given orders 
that my dinner is to be sent after me here. I look 


to you for coffee and tobacco, and if you happen to 
be delayed till early to-morrow morning, you will find 
me sleeping here on the carpet." 

Kabakulak could now see that he had to do with a 
man of character who would not stir from the spot 
till everything had been settled completely to his 
satisfaction. The most expeditious mode of ending 
matters would, no doubt, have been to summon a 
couple of ciauses and make them lay the rascal's head 
at his own feet, but the political horizon was not yet 
sufficiently serene for such acts of daring. The 
bands of the insurgents were still encamping in the 
pubhc square outside. First of all they must be hood- 
winked and pacified, only after that would it be 
possible to proceed to extreme measures against them. 

All that the Grand Vizier could do, therefore, was 
frankly to present all Halil Patrona's demands to the 

Mahmud granted everything on the spot. 

In an hour's time the firmans and hatti-scherifs, de- 
posing and elevating the various functionaries, were 
in Musli's hands as desired. 

Only as to the method of destroying the kiosks 
did the Sultan venture to make a suggestion. They 
had better not be burnt to the ground, he opined, for 
thereby the Mussulmans would make themselves the 
laughing-stock of the whole Christian world ; but he 


undertook to dilapidate the walls and devastate the 

And within three days one hundred and twenty 
splendid kiosks, standing beside the Sweet Waters, 
had become so many rubbish heaps ; and the rare 
and costly plants of the beautiful flower-gardens were 
chucked into the water, and the groves of amorous 
dallying were cut down to the very roots. Only ruins 
were now to be seen in the place of the fairy palaces 
wherein all manner of earthly joys had hitherto built 
their nests, and all this ruin was wrought in three 
days by Halil Patrona, just because there is but one 
God, and therefore but one Paradise, and because 
this Paradise is not on earth but in Heaven, and those 
who would attain thereto must strive and struggle 
valiantly for it in this life. 



A TIME will come when the star has risen so high 
that it can rise no higher, and perchance learns to 
know that before long it must begin its inevitable 
descent! . . . 

All Halil Patroria's wildest dreams had been 
realised. There he stood at the very apex of 
sovereignty, whence the course of empires, the destiny 
of worlds can be controlled. Ministers of State were 
pulled down or lifted up at his bidding, armies were 
sent against foreign powers as he directed, princes 
were strengthened on their thrones because Halil 
Patrona wished it, and the great men of the empire 
lay in the dust at his feet. 

For whole days at a time he sat reading the books 
of the Ottoman chroniclers, the famous Rashid and 
the wise Chelbizade, and after that he would pore 
over maps and charts and draw Hnes of different 
colours across them in all directions, and dot them 
with dots which he alone understood the meaning of» 


And those lines and dots stretched far, far away 
beyond the borders of the empire, right into the 
midst of Podoha and the Ukraine. He knew, and 
he only, what he meant by them. 

The projects he was hatching required centuries 
for their fulfilment — what is the life of a mere man? 

In thought he endowed the rejuvenescent 
Empire with the energies of a thousand years. Once 
more he perceived its conquering sword winning fresh 
victories, and extending its dominions towards the 
East and the South, but especially towards the North. 
He saw the most powerful of nations do it homage ; 
he saw the guardian-angels of Islam close their eyes 
before the blinding flashes of the triumphant swords 
of the sons of Osman, and hasten to record in the 
Book of the Future events very different from those 
which had been written down before. 

Ah, human hopes, human hopes! — the blast blows 
upon them and they crumble away to nothing. 

But Halil's breast beat with a still greater joy, with 
a still loftier hope, when turning away from the tumult 
of the world, he opened the door of his private room 
and entered therein. 

What voices arc those which it does his soul 
good to hearken to? Why does he pause and stand 
listening before the curtain ? What is he listening to ? 

It is the feeble cry of a child, a little baby child. 



A few days before Gül-Bejáze bore him a son, on the 
anniversary of the very day when he made her his 
wife. This child was the purest part of Hahl's joy, 
the loftiest star of his hopes. Whithersoever I may 
one day rise, he would reflect, this child shall rise 
with me. Whatever I shall not be able to achieve, 
he will accomplish. Those happier, more glorious 
times which I shall never be able to see, he will 
rejoice in. Through him I shall leave behind me in 
Ottoman history an eternal fame — a fame like to that 
of the Kiiprili family, which for a whole century and 
a half gave heroes and saints and sages to the empire. 

Gül-Bejáze wanted the child to be called Ferhád, 
or Sender, as so many of the children of the poor 
were wont to be called ; but HaHl gave him the name 
of Behram. "He is a man-child," said Halil, "who 
will one day be called to great things." 

Human calculations, human hopes, what are they? 
To-day the tree stands full of blossoms, to-morrow 
it lies prone on the ground, cut down to the very 

Who shall strive with the Almighty, and from what 
son of man does the Lord God take counsel? 

Halil stole on tip-toe to the bed of his wife who 
was playing with the child ; she did not perceive him 
till he was quite close to her. How they rejoiced 
together I The baby wandered from hand to hand ; 


how they embraced and kissed it! Both of them 
seemed to hve their hves over again in the Httle child. 

And now old Janaki also drew nigh. His face was 
smiling, but whenever he opened his mouth his words 
were sad and gloomy. All joy vanished from his 
life the moment he was made a voivode, just as if 
he felt that only Death could relieve him of that 
dignity. He had a peculiar joy in perpetually prophe- 
sying evil things. 

" If only you could bring the child up ! " he cried ; 
" but you will not live long enough to do that. Men 
like you, Halil, never live long, and I don't want to 
survive you. You will see me die, if see you can;' 
and when you die, your child will be doubly an 

With such words did he trouble them. They were 
always reHeved when, at last, he would creep into 
a corner and fall asleep from sheer weariness, for his 
anxiety made him more and more somnolent as he 
grew older. 

But again the door opened, and there entered the 
Kadun-Kiet-Khuda, the guardian of the ladies of the 
Seraglio, accompanied by two slave-girls carrying a 
splendid porcelain pitcher, which they deposited at 
the sick woman's bed with this humble salutation : 

" The Sultana Validé greets thee and sends thee 
this sherbet I ' • 


The Sultana Validé, or Dowager, used only to send 
special messages to the Sultan's favourite wives when 
they lay in child-bed; this, therefore, was a great 
distinction for the wife of Halil Patrona — or a great 
humiliation for the Sultana. 

And a great humiliation it certainly was for the 

It was by the command of Sultan Mahmud that the 
Sultana had sent the sherbet. 

" You see," said Halil, " the great ones of the earth 
kiss the dust off your feet. There are slaves besides 
those in the bazaars, and the first become the last. 
Rejoice in the present, my princess, and catch Fortune 
on the wing." 

"Fortune, Halil," said his wife with a mournful 
smile, " is like the eels of the Bosphorus, it slips from 
your grasp just as you fancy you hold it fast." 

And Halil believed that he held it fast in his grasp. 

The highest officers of state were his friends and 
colleagues, the Sultan himself was under obligations 
to him, for indeed Halil had fetched him from the 
dungeon of the Seven Towers to place him on the 

And at that very moment they were digging the 
snare for him into which he was to fall. 

The Sultan who could not endure the thought that 
he was under a debt of gratitude to a poor oppressed 


pedlar, the Sultana who could never forget the 
humiliation she had suffered because of Gül-Bejáze, 
the Kizlar-Aga who feared the influence of Halil, the 
Grand Vizier who had been compelled to eat humble 
pie — all of them had long been waiting for an occasion 
to ruin him. 

One day the Sultan distributed thirty wagon-loads 
of money among the forty thousand Janissaries and 
the sixteen thousand Topadshis in the capital because 
they had proposed to be reconciled with the Seraglio 
and reassemble beneath the banner of the Prophet. 
The insurgent mob, moreover, promised to disperse 
under two conditions : a complete amnesty for past 
offences, and permission to retain two of their banners 
that they might be able to assemble together again in 
case anything was undertaken against them. Their 
requests were all granted. Halil Patrona, too, was 
honoured by being made one of the privy councillors 
of the Divan. 

Seven-and-twenty of the popular leaders were in- 
vited at the same time to appear in the Divan and 
assist in its deliberations. Halil Patrona was the 
life and soul of the lot. 

He inspired them with magnanimous, enlightened 
resolutions, and when in his enthusiastic way he 


addressed them, the worthy cobblers and fishermen 
felt themselves turned into heroes, and it seemed as 
if they were the leaders of the nation, while the pashas 
and grandees sitting beside them were mere fishermen 
and cobblers. 

Everyone of his old friends and his new colleagues 
looked up to and admired him. 

Only one person could not reconcile himself with 
the thought that he owed his power to a pedlar who 
had risen from the dust — and this man was Kaplan 
Giraj, the Khan of the Crimea. 

He was to be Halil's betrayer. 

He informed the Grand Vizier of the projects of 
Halil, who wished to persuade the Sultan to declare 
war against Russia, because Russia was actively assist- 
ing Persia. Moldavia and the Crimea were the start- 
ing points of the armies that were to clip the wings 
of the menacing northern foe, and thereby nullify the 
terrible prophecies of the " Takimi Vekai." 

Kaplan Giraj informed Kabakulak of these designs, 
and they agreed that a man with such temerarious 
projects in his head ought not to live any longer — 
he was much too dangerous. 

They resolved that he should be killed during the 
deliberations at the house of the Grand Vizier. For 
this purpose they chose from among the most daring 
of the Janissaries those officers who had a grudge 


against Halil for enforcing discipline against them, 
and were also jealous of what they called his usurpa- 
tion of authority. These men they took with them 
to the council as members of the Divan. 

It was arranged thus. When Halil had brought 
forward and defended his motion for a war against 
Russia, then Kaplan Giraj would argue against the 
project, whereupon Halil was sure to lose his temper. 
The Khan thereupon was to rush upon him with a 
drawn sword, and this was to be the signal for the 
Janissary officers to rise in a body and massacre all 
Halil's followers. 

So it was a well-prepared trap into which Halil and 
his associates were to fall, and they had not the 
slightest suspicion of the danger that was hanging 
over their heads. 

The Grand Vizier sat in the centre of the 
councillors, beside him on his right hand sat Kaplan 
Giraj, while the place of honour on his left was re- 
served for Halil Patrona. All around sat the Spahi 
and Janissary officers with their swords in their 

The plot was well contrived, the whole affair was 
bound to be over in a few minutes. 

The popular deputies arrived ; there were seven- 


and-twenty of them, not including Halil Patrona. 
The Janissary officers were sixty in number. 

Kabakulak beckoned to HaHl to sit on his left 
hand, the others were so arranged that each one of 
them sat between a couple of Janissary officers. As 
soon as Kaplan Giraj gave the signal by drawing his 
sword against Halil, the Janissaries were to fall upon 
their victims and cut them down. 

" My dear son," said the Grand Vizier to Halil, 
when they had all taken their places, " behold, at thy 
desire, we have summoned the council and the chief 
officers of the Army ; tell them, I pray thee, wherefore 
thou hast called them together ! " 

Halil thereupon arose, and turning towards the 
assembly thus addressed it: 

" Mussulmans ! faithful followers of the Prophet ! 
If any one of you were to hear that his house was on 
fire, would he need lengthy explanations before 
hastening away to extinguish it? If ye were to hear 
that robbers had broken into your houses and were 
plundering your goods — if ye were to hear that 
ruffians were throttling your little children or your 
aged parents, or threatening the lives of your wives 
with drawn swords, would you wait for further con- 
firmation or persuasion before doing anything, or 
would you not rather rush away of your own accord 
to slay these robbers and murderers? And lo! what 


is more than our houses, more than our property, more 
than our children, our parents, or our wives — our 
Fatherland, our faith is threatened with destruction 
by our enemy. And this enemy has all the will but 
not yet the power to accomplish what he threatens ; 
and his design is never abandoned, but is handed down 
from father to son, for never will he make peace, he 
will ever slay and destroy till he himself is destroyed 
and slain — this enemy is the Muscovite. Our fathers 
heard very little of that name, our sons will hear more, 
and our grandsons will weep exceedingly because of 
it. Our rehgion bids us to be resigned to the 
decrees of fate, but only cowards will be content to 
sit with their hands in their laps because the pre- 
diestined fate of the Ottoman Empire is written in 
Heaven. If the prophecy says that a time must come 
when the Ottoman Empire must fall to pieces because 
of the cowardice of the Ottoman nation, does it not 
depend upon us and our children whether the 
prophecy be accomplished, or whether its fulfilment 
be far removed from us? Of a truth the signification 
of that prophecy is this: We shall perish if we are 
cowards ; let us not be cowards then, and never shall 
we perish. And if the foe whose sword shall one 
day deal the nations of Muhammad the most terrible 
wounds, and whose giant footsteps shall leave on 
Turkish soil the bloodiest and most shameful imprints 


— if I say this foe be already pointed out to us, why 
should we not anticipate him, why should we wait 
till he has grown big enough to swallow us up 
when we are now strong enough to destroy him? 
The opportunity is favourable. The Cossacks de- 
mand help from us against the Muscovite dominion. 
If we give them this help they will be our allies, if 
we withhold it they will become our adversaries. The 
Tartars, the Circassians, and Moldavians are the 
bulwarks of our Empire, let us join to them the 
Cossacks also, and not wait until they all become the 
bulwarks of our northern foe instead, and he will lead 
them all against us. When he built the fortress of 
Azov he showed us plainly what he meant by it. Let 
us also now show that we understood his intentions 
and raze that fortress to the ground." 

With these words Halil resumed his place. 

As pre-arranged Kaplan Giraj now stood up in his 

Halil fully expected that the Tartar Khan, who 
was to have played such an important part in his 
project, inasmuch as his dominions were directly in 
the way of an invading enemy, and therefore most 
nearly threatened, would warmly support his proposi- 
tion. All the greater then was his amazement when 
Kaplan Giraj turned towards him with a contemptuous 
smile and replied in these words : 


"It is a great calamity for an Empire when its 
leading counsellors are ignorant. I will not question 
your good intentions, Halil, but it strikes me as very 
comical that you should wish us, on the strength of 
the prophecy of a Turkish recluse, to declare war 
against one of our neighbours who is actually living 
at peace with us, is doing us no harm, and harbours 
no mischievous designs against us. You speak as 
if Europe was absolutely uninhabited by any but our- 
selves, as if there was no such thing as powerful 
nations on every side of us, jealous neighbours all 
of them who would incontinently fall upon us with 
their banded might in case of a war unjustly begun 
by us. All this comes from the simple fact that you 
do not understand the world, Halil. How could you, 
a. mere petty huckster, be expected to do so? So 
pray leave in peace Imperial affairs, and whenever 
you think fit to occupy your time in reading poems 
and fairy-tales, don't fancy they are actual facts." 

The representatives of the people regarded the 
Khajn with amazement. Halil, with a bitter look, 
measured him from head to foot. He knew now that 
he had been betrayed. And he had been betrayed by 
the very man to whom he had assigned a hero's 
part ! 

With a smiling face he turned towards him. He 
had no thought now that he had fallen into a trap. 


He addressed the Khan as if they were both in the 
room together alone. 

" Truly you spoke the truth, Kaplan Giraj, when 
you reproached me with the shame of ignorance. I 
never learnt anything but the Koran, I have never had 
the opportunity of reading those books which mock 
at the things which are written in the Koran ; I only 
know that when the Prophet proclaimed war against 
the idolators he never inquired of the neighbouring 
nations, Shall I do this, or shall I not do it? and so 
he always triumphed. I know this, too, that since the 
Divan has taken to debating and negociating with 
its enemies, the Ottoman armies have been driven 
across the three rivers — the Danube, the Dnieper, and 
the Pruth — and melt away and perish in every direc- 
tion. I am a rough and ignorant man I know, there- 
fore do not be amazed at me if I would defend the 
faith of Mohammed with the sword when, perhaps, 
there may be other means of doing so with which 
I am unacquainted. I, on the other hand, will not 
be astonished that you, a scion of the princely 
Crimean family, should be afraid of war. You were 
born a ruler and know therefore that your life is 
precious. You embelHsh the deeds of your enemy 
that you may not be obliged to fight against him. 
You say 'tis a good neighbour, a peaceful neighbour, 
he does no harm, although you very well know that 


it was the Muscovite guns which drove our Timariots 
out of Kermanshan, and that the Persians were 
allowed to march through Russian territory in order 
to fall upon our general Abdullah Pasha from behind. 
But there is nothing hostile about all this in your eyes, 
you are perfectly contented with }'0ur fate. War 
might deprive you of your Khannish dignity, while 
in peaceful times you can peaceably retain it. It 
matters not to you whose servant you may be so long 
as you hold sway in your own domain, and you call 
him a blockhead who does not look after himself first 
of all. Yes, Kaplan Giraj, I am a blockhead no doubt, 
for I am not afraid to risk losing this wretched life, 
awaiting my reward in another world. I was not 
bom in silks and purples but in the love of my 
country and the fear of God, while you are wise 
enough to be satisfied with the joys of this life. But, 
by way of reward for betraying your good friend, 
may Allah cause you, one day, to become the slave 
of your enemies, so that he who was wont to be called 
Kaplan* may henceforth be named Sichian."t 

Even had nothing been preconcerted, Kaplan 
Giraj's sword must needs have leaped from its sheath 
at these mortally insulting words. Furiously he 
leaped from his seat with his flashing sword in his 

• Tiger, t Mouse. 


Ah! but now it was the turn of the Grand Vizier 
and all the other conspirators to be amazed. 

The Janissaries who had been placed by the side 
of the popular leaders never budged from their seats, 
and not one of them drew his weapon at the given 

Such inertia was so ine'xplicable to the initiated 
that Kaplan Giraj remained standing in front of Halil 
paralyzed with astonishment. As for Halil he simply 
crossed his arms over his breast and gazed upon him 
contemptuously. The Janissary officers had disre- 
garded the signal. 

"I am well aware," said Halil to the Khan with 
cold sobriety — " I am well aware what sort of respect 
is due to this place, and therefore I do not draw my 
sword against yours even in self-defence. For though 
I am not so well versed in European customs as you 
are, and know not whether it is usual in the council- 
chambers of foreign nations to settle matters with the 
sword, or whether it is the rule in the French or 
the English cabinet that he who cuts down his 
opponent in mid-council is in the right and his opinion 
must needs prevail — but of so much I am certain, 
that it is not the habit to settle matters with naked 
weapons in the Ottoman Divan. Now that the 
council is over, however, perhaps you would like to 
descend with me into the gardens where we may settle 


the business out of hand, and free one another from 
the thought that death is terrible." 

Hahl's cold collected bearing silenced, disarmed his 
enemies. The eyes of the Grand Vizier and the 
Khan surveyed the ranks of the Janissary officers, 
while Halil's faithful adherents began to assemble 
round their leader. 

"Then there is no answer to the words of Halil 
Patrona?" inquired Kabakulak at last tentatively. 

They were all silent. 

" Have you no answer at all then? '* 

At this all the Janissaries arose, and one of them 
stepping forward said : 

"Halil is right. We agree with all that he has 

The Grand Vizier did not know whether he was 
standing on his head or his heels. Kaplan Giraj 
wrathfuUy thrust his sword back again into its 
scabbard. All the Janissary officers evidently were 
on Halil Patrona's side. 

It was impossible not to observe the confusion in 
the faces of the chief plotters ; the well-laid plot could 
not be carried out. 

After a long interval Kabakulak was the first to 
recover himself, and tried to put a new face on matters 
till a better opportunity should arise. 

" Such important resolutions," said he, " cannot be 


carried into effect without the knowledge of the 
Sultan. To-morrow, therefore, let us all assemble in 
the Seraglio to lay our desires before the Padishah. 
You also will be there, Halil, and you also, Kaplan 

" Which of us twain will be there Allah only 
knows," said Halil. 

" There, my son, you spake not well ; nay, very 
ill hast thou spoken. It is a horrible thing when two 
Mussulmans revile one another. Be reconciled rather, 
and extend to each other the hand of fellowship! I 
will not allow you to hght. Both of you spoke with 
good intentions, and he is a criminal who will not 
forget personal insults when it is a question of the 
commonweal. Forgive one another and shake hands, 
I say." 

And he seized the reluctant hands of both men and 
absolutely forced them to shake hands with each 
other. But he could not prevent their eyes from 
meeting, and though swords were denied them their 
glances of mutual hatred were enough to wound to 
the death. 

After the council broke up, Halil's enemies re- 
mained behind with the Grand Vizier. Kaplan Giraj 
gnashed his teeth with rage. 

" Didn't I tell you not to let him speak ! " he ex- 
claimed, " for when once he opens his mouth he turns 


every drawn sword against us, and drives wrath from 
the breasts of men with the glamour of his tongue." 

So they had three days wherein to hatch a fresh 

The session of the Divan was fixed for three days 
later. Halil Patrona employed the interval like a 
man who feels that his last hour is at hand. He 
would have been very short-sighted not to have per- 
ceived that judgment had already been pronounced 
against him, although his enemies were still doubtful 
how to carry it into execution. 

He resigned himself to his fate as it became a pious 
Mussulman to do. He had only one anxiety which 
he would gladly have been rid of — what was to be- 
come of his wife and child. 

On the evening of the last day he led Giil-Bejaze 
down to the shore of the Bosphorus as if he would 
take a walk with her. The woman carried her child 
in her arms. 

Since the woman had had a child she had acquired 
a much braver aspect. The gentlest animcJ will be 
audacious when it has young ones, even the dove be- 
comes savage when it is hatching its fledgelings. 

Halil put his wife into a covered boat, wliich was 
soon flying along under the impulse of his muscukir 



arms. The child rejoiced aloud at the rocking of the 
boat, he fancied it was the motion of his cradle. The 
eyes of the woman were fixed now upon the sky and 
now upon the unruffled surface of the watery mirror. 
A star smiled down upon her wheresoever she gazed. 
The evening was very still. 

" Knowest thou whither I am taking thee, Giil- 
Bejáze?" asked her husband. 

" If thou wert to ask me whither thou oughtest to 
send me, I would say take me to some remote and 
peaceful valley enclosed all around by lofty mountains. 
Build me there a little hut by the side of a bubbling 
spring, and let there be a little garden in front of the 
little hut. Let me stroll beneath the leaves of the 
cedar-trees, where I may hear no other sound but the 
cooing of the wood-pigeon ; let me pluck flowers on 
the banks of the purling brook, and spy upon the 
wild deer ; let me live there and die there — live in 
thine arms and die in the flowering field by the side 
of the purling brook. If thou wert to ask me, whither 
shall I take thee, so would I answer." 

" Thou hast said it," replied Halil, shipping the 
oars, for the rising evening breeze had stiffened out 
the sail and the little boat was flying along of its 
own accord ; then he sat him down beside his wife 
and continued, " I am indeed sending thee to a remote 
and hidden valley, where a little hut stands on the 


banks of a purling stream. I have prepared it for 
thee, and there shalt thou dwell with thy child." 

"And thou thyself?" 

" I will guide thee to the opposite shore, there an 
old family servant of thy father's awaits thee with 
saddled mules. He loves thee dearly, and will bring 
thee into that quiet valley and he must never leave 

"And thou?" 

" This little coffer thou wilt take with thee ; it con- 
tains money which I got from thy father ; no curse, no 
blood is upon it, it shall be thine and thy children's." 

"And thou?" inquired Gül-Bejáze for the third 
time, and she was very near to bursting into tears. 

" I shall have to return to Stambul. But I will come 
after thee. Perhaps to-morrow, perhaps the day after 
to-morrow, perhaps later still. It may be very much 
sooner, it may be much later. But thou wait for me. 
Every evening spread the table for me, for thou 
knowest not when I may arrive." 

The tears of Gül-Bejáze began to fall upon the child 
she held to her breast. 

"Why weepest thou?" asked Halil. " 'Tis foohsh 
of thee. Leave-taking is short, suspense only is long. 
It will be better with thee than with mc, for thou wilt 
have the child while I shall have nothing left, yet I 
do not weep because we shall so soon meet again." 


Meanwhile they had reached the shore, the old 
servant was awaiting them with the two mules. Hahl 
helped his wife to descend from^ the boat. 

Gül-Bejáze buried her head in her husband's bosom 
and tenderly embraced him. * 

" Go not back, leave me not alone," said she ; " do 
not leave us, come with us. What dost thou seek in 
that big desolate city when we are no longer there? 
Come with us, let us all go together, vanish with us. 
Let them search for thee, and may their search be as 
vain as the search for a star fallen from Heaven ; it 
is not good for thee to be in high places." 

Halil made no reply. His wife spoke the truth, 
but pride prevented him from escaping like a coward 
when he knew that his enemies were conspiring 
against him. Presently he said to Gül-Bejáze with 
a reassuring voice : 

" Do not be anxious on my account, I have a talis- 
man with me. Why dost thou smile? Thou a 
Christian woman dost not believe in talismans? My 
talisman is my heart, surely thou believest in it now? 
It has always helped me hitherto." 

And with that Halil kissed his wife and his child 
and returned to the boat. He seized the oars in his 
powerful hands and was soon some distance from the 
shore. And as he rowed further and further away 
into the gloom of evening he saw his abandoned 


wife still standing on the shore with her child clasped 
to her breast, and the further he receded the keener 
grew his anguish of heart because he durst not turn 
back to them and kiss and embrace them once more. 

Early in the morning the gigantic Halil Pelivan, 
accompanied by twelve bostanjis, appeared among the 
Janissaries with three asses laden with five little 
panniers, containing five thousand ducats which he 
emptied upon the ground and distributed among the 
brave fellows. 

" The Grand Vizier sends you this, my worthy 
comrades," cried he. 

This was the only way of talking sense to the 

" And now I have to ask something of you." 

"Say on!" 

" Is there among you any fellow who loves nobody, 
who would be capable of slaying his own dear father 
if he were commanded so to do and well paid for it, 
who is afraid of nothing, has no bowels of compassion, 
and cannot be made to falter by tlie words of the 
wise ? " 

In response to this challenge, hundreds and 
hundreds of the Janissaries stepped out of their 


ranks, declaring that they were just the boys to satisfy 
Pelivan's demands. 

PeHvan selected from amongst them two-and- 
thirty of the most muscular and truculent, and com- 
manded them to follow him into the SeragHo. 

Once there he conducted them into the Porcelain 
Chamber, made them squat down on the precious 
carpets, put before them quantities of the most 
savoury food, which they washed down with the rich 
wine of Cypress and the heating Muskoveto, a mys- 
terious beverage generally reserved for the Sultan's 
use, which is supposed to confer courage and virility. 
When they had well eaten and drunken moreover, 
Pelivan supplied them with as much opium as they 

Shortly afterwards there came out to them the 
Grand Vizier, the lame Pasha, Topal Ozman, Pats- 
majezade, the chief Justiciary of Rumelia, the 
cobbler's son, and the Tartar Khan, who patted their 
shoulders, tasted of their food, drank out of their 
goblets, and after telling them what fine brave fellows 
they were, discreetly withdrew. 

The Divan meanwhile had assembled in the Hall 
of Lions. 

There were gathered together the Ulemas, the 
Viziers, and the representatives of the people. Halil 
Patrona was there also ; and presently Kabakulak, 


Topal Ozman, Patsmajezade, and Kaplan Giraj 
arrived likewise and took their places. 

The Grand Vizier turned first of all to Halil, whom 
he addressed with benign condescension. 

" The Padishah assures thee through me of his 
grace and favour, and of his own good pleasure 
appoints thee Beglerbeg of Rumelia." 

And with that a couple of diilbendars advanced 
with the costly kaftan of investiture. 

Halil Patrona reflected for an instant. 

The Sultan indeed had always been gracious to- 
wards him. He evidently wanted to favour him with 
an honourable way of retreat. He was offering him 
a high dignity whereby he might be able to withdraw 
from the capital, and yet at the same time gratify his 
ambition. The Sultan really had a kindly heart then. 
He rewards the man whom his ministers would punish 
as a malefactor. 

But his hesitation only lasted for a moment. Then 
he recovered himself and resolutely answered : 

" I will not accept that kaftan. For myself I ask 
nothing. I did not come here to receive high ofhce, 
I came to hear war proclaimed." 

The Grand Vizier bowed down before him. 

" Thy word is decisive. The Padishah has decided 
that what thou and thy comrades demand shall be 
accomplished. The Grand Seignior himself awaits 


thee in the Porcelain Chamber. There war shall be 
proclaimed, and the kaftans of remembrance dis- 
tributed to thee and thy fellows." 

And with that the Ulemas and Halil's comrades 
were led away to the kiosk of Erivan. 

" And ye who are the finest fellows of us all," said 
Kabakulak, turning to Halil and Musli — "ye, Halil 
and Musli, come first of all to kiss the Sultan's hand." 

Halil with a cold smile pressed Musli's hand Even 
now poor Musli had no idea what was about to befall 
them. Only when at " the gate of the cold spring " 
the Spahis on guard divested them of their weapons, 
for none may approach the Sultan with a sword by 
him — only, then, I say, did he have a dim sensation 
that all was not well. 

In the Sofa Chamber, where the Divan is erected, 
is a niche separated from the rest of the chamber by 
a high golden trellis-work screen, behind whose 
curtains it is the traditional custom of the Sultan 
to listen privately to the deliberations of his coun- 
sellors. From behind these curtains a woman's face 
was now peeping. It was Adsalis, the favourite 
Sultana, and behind her stood Elhaj Beshir, the 
Kizlar-Aga. Both of them knew there would be a 
peculiar spectacle, something well worth seeing in 
that chamber to-day. 

The curtains covering the doors of the Porcelain 


Chamber bulged out, and immediately afterwards two 
men entered. They advanced to the steps of the 
Sultan's throne, knelt down there, and kissed the hem 
of the Sultan's garment. 

Mahmud was sitting on his throne, the same instant 
Kabakulak clapped his hands and cried : 

" Bring in their kaftans ! " 

At these words out of the adjoining apartment 
rushed Pelivan and the thirty-two Janissaries with 
drawn swords. 

Mahmud hid his face so as not to see what was 
about to happen. 

" Halil ! we are betrayed ! " exclaimed Musli, and 
placing himself in front of his comrade he received 
on his own body the first blow which Pelivan had 
aimed at Halil. 

" In vain hast thou written thy name above mine, 
Patrona," roared the giant, waving his huge broad- 
sword above his head. 

At these words Halil drew forth from his girdle a 
dagger which he had secreted there, and hurled it 
with such force at Pelivan that the sharp point pierced 
his left shoulder. 

But the next moment he was felled to the ground 
by a mortal blow. 

While still on his knees he raised his eyes to 
Heaven and said : 


" It is the will of Allah." 

At another blow he collapsed, and falling prone 
breathed forth his last sigh : 

" I die, but my son is still alive." 

And he died. 

Then all his associates were brought into the Sofa 
Chamber one by one from the Erivan kiosk where 
they had been robed in splendid kaftans, and as they 
entered the room were decapitated one after the other. 
They had not even time to shut their eyes before the 
fatal stroke descended. 

Six-and-twenty of them perished there and then. 

Only three survived the day, Sulali, Mohammed the 
dervish, and Alir Aalem, the custodian of the sacred 
banner and justiciary of Stambul. All three were 
Ulemas, and therefore not even the Sultan was free 
to slay them. 

Accordingly the Grand Vizier appointed them all 
Sandjak-Begs, or governors of provinces. 

As they knew nothing of the death of their com- 
rades they accepted the dignities conferred upon 
them, renouncing at the same time as usual their office 
of Ulemas. 

The following day they were all put to death. 

On the third day after that the people of the city 
in their walks abroad saw eight-and-thirty severed 
heads stuck on the ends of spears over the central 


gate of the Seraglio. All these heads, with their start- 
ing eyes and widely parted lips, seemed to be speaking 
to the amazed multitudes ; only Halil Patrona s eyes 
were closed and his lips sealed 

Suddenly a great cry of woe arose from one end 
of the city to the other, the people seized their 
arms and rushed off to the Etmeidan under three 

They had no other leader now but Janaki, all the 
rest had escaped or were dead. So now they brought 
hun forward. The tidings of Hahl's death wrought 
no change in him, he had foreseen it long before, and 
was well aware that Gül-Bejáze had departed from 
the capital. He had himself prepared for her the 
little dwelling in the valley lost among the ravines 
of Mount Taurus, which was scarce known to any 
save to him and the few dwellers there, and he had 
brought back with him from thence a pair of carrier- 
pigeons, so that in case of necessity he might be able 
to send messages to his daughter without having to 
depend on human agency. 

When the clamorous mob invited him to the 
Etmeidan he wrote to his daughter on a tiny shred 
of vellum, and tied the letter beneath the wing of 
the pigeon. 

And this is what he wrote : 

" God's grace be with thee ! Wait not for Halil, he 


is dead. The Janissaries have killed him. And I 
shall not be long after him, take my word for it. But 
live thou and watch over thy child. — Janaki." 

With that he opened the window and let the dove 
go, and she, rising swiftly into the air, remained 
poised on high for a time with fluttering pinions, and 
then, with the swiftness and directness of a well-aimed 
dart, she flew straight towards the mountains. 

" Poor Irene ! " sighed Janaki, buckling on his 
sword with which he certainly was not very likely to 
kill anybody — and he accompanied the insurgents to 
the Etmeidan. 

In Stambul things were all topsy-turvy once more. 
The seventh Janissary regiment, when the two-and- 
thirty Janissaries returned to them with bloody swords 
boasting of their deed, rushed upon them and cut 
them to pieces. The new Janissary Aga was 
shot dead within his own gates. Kabakulak retired 
within a mosque. Halil Pelivan, who had been ap- 
pointed Kulkiaja, hid himself in a drain pipe for three 
whole days, and never emerged therefrom so long as 
the uproar lasted. 

Three days later all was quiet again. 

A new name came to the front which quelled the 
risen tempest — the last scion of the famous Kiiprili 
family, every member of which was a hero. 

Achmed Kiiprilizade collected together the ten 


thousand shebejis, bostanjis, and baltajis who 
dwelt round the Seragho, and when everyone was in 
despair attacked the rebels in the open streets, routed 
them in the piazzas, and in three days seven thousand 
of the people fell beneath his blows — and so the realm 
had peace once more. 

Janaki also fell. They chopped off his head and 
he offered not the slightest resistance. 

As for Pelivan and Kabakulak they were banished 
for their cowardice. 

So Achmed Kiiprilizade became Grand Vizier. 

As for Achmed III. he lived nine years longer in 
the Seven Towers, and tradition says he died by 



Everything was now calm and quiet, and the world 
pursued its ordinary course ; but far away among the 
Blue Mountains dwells a woman who knows nothing 
of all that is going on around her, and who every 
evening ascends the highest summit of the hills sur- 
rounding her little hut and gazes eagerly, longingly, 
in the direction of Stambul, following with her eyes 
the long zig-zag path which vanishes in the dim 
distance — ^will he come to-day whom she has so 
long awaited in vain? 

Every evening she returns mournfully to her Httle 
dwelling, and whenever she sits down to supper she 
places opposite to her a platter and a mug — and so 
she waits for him who comes not At night she lays 
Halil's pillow beside her, and puts their child between 
the pillow and herself that he may find it there when 
he comes. 

And so day follows day. 

One day there came a tapping at her window. 
With joy she leaps from her bed to open it. 


It is not Halil but a pigeon — a carrier-pigeon bring- 
ing a letter. 

Gül-Bejáze opens the letter and reads it through 
— and a second time she reads it through, and then she 
reads it through a third time, and then she begins to 
smile and whispers to herself : 

" He will be here directly," 

From henceforth a mild insanity takes possession 
of the woman's mind' — a species of dumb monomania 
which is only observable when her fixed idea happens 
to be touched upon. 

At eventide she again betakes herself to the road 
which leads out of the valley. She shows the letter 
to an old serving-maid, telling her that the letter says 
that Halil is about to arrive, and a good supper must 
be made ready for him. The servant cannot read, so 
she believes her mistress. 

An hour later the woman comes back to the house 
full of joy, her cheeks have quite a colour so quickly 
has she come. 

"Hast thou not seen him?" she inquires of the 

"Whom, my mistress?" 

"Halil. He has arrived. He came another way, 
and must be in the house by now." 

The servant fancies that perchance Halil hns come 
secretly and she, also full of joy, follows her mistress 


into the room where the table has been spread for 
tvvo persons. 

"Well, thou seest that he is here," cries Giil- 
Bejáze, pointing to the empty place, and rushing to 
the spot, she embraces an invisible shape, her 
burning kisses resound through the air, and her 
eyes intoxicated with delight gaze lovingly — at 

" Look at thy child ! " she cries, lifting up her little 
son ; " take him in thine arms. So ! Kiss him not so 
roughly, for he is asleep. Look! thy kisses have 
awakened him. Thy beard has tickled him, and he 
has opened his eyes. Rock him in thine arms a little. 
Thou wert so fond of nursing him once upon a time. 
So! take him on thy lap. What! art thou tired? 
Wait and I will fill up thy glass for thee. Isn't the 
water icy-cold? I have just filled it from the spring 

Then she heaps more food on her husband's 
platter, and rejoices that his appetite is so good. 

Then after supper she links her arm in his and, 
whispering and chatting tenderly, leads him into the 
garden in the bright moonlit evening. The faithful 
servant with tears in her eyes watches her as she 
walks all alone along the garden path, from end to 
end, beneath the trees, acting as if she were whisper- 
inp- and chatting with someone. She keeps on asking 


him questions and listening to his replies, or she tells 
him all manner of tales that he has not heard before. 
She tells him all that has happened to her since they 
last separated, and shows him all the little birds and 
the pretty flowers. After that she bids him step into 
a little bower, makes him sit down beside her, moves 
her kaftan a little to one side so that he may not sit 
upon it, and that she may crouch up close beside him, 
and then she whispers and talks to him so lovingly 
and so bhssfully, and finally returns to the little hut 
so full of shamefaced joy, looking behind her every 
now and then to cast another loving glance — at 
whom ? 

And inside the house she prepares his bed for him, 
and plax:cs a soft pillow for his head, lays her own 
warm soft arm beneath his head, presses him to her 
bosom and kisses him, and then lays her child between 
them and goes quietly to sleep after pressing his hand 
once more — whose hand? 

The next day from morn to eve she again waits 
for him, and at dusk sets out once more along the 
road, and when she comes back finds him once more 
in the httle hut ... oh, happy delusion! 

And thus it goes on from day to day. 

From morn to eve the woman accomplishes her 
usual work, her neighbours and acquaintances per- 
ceive no change in her ; but as soon as the sun sets 


she leaves everyone and everything and avoids all 
society, for now Halil is expecting her in the open 
bower of the little garden. 

Punctually she appears before him as soon as the 
sun has set It has become quite a habit with her 
already. She so arranges her work that she always 
has a leisure hour at such times. Sometimes, too, 
Halil is in a good humour, but at others he is sad and 
sorrowful. She tells this to. the old serving-maid over 
and over again. Sometimes, too, she whispers in her 
ear that Halil is cudgelling his brains with all sorts 
of great ideas, but she is not to speak about it to any- 
one, as that might easily cost Halil his life. 

Poor Halil ! Long, long ago his body has crumbled 
into dust. Death can do him no harm now. 

And thus the " White Rose " grows old and grey 
and gradually fades away. Not a single night does 
the beloved guest remain away from her. For years 
and years, long — long years, he comes to her every 

And as her son grows up, as he becomes a man 
with the capacity of judging and understanding, he 
hears his mother conversing every evening with an 
invisible shape, and she would have her little son 
greet this stranger, for she tells him it is his father. 
And she praises the son to the father, and says what 
a good, kind-hearted lad he is, and she compares their 


faces one with the other. He is the very image of 
his father, she says ; only Hahl is now getting old, 
his beard has begun to be white. Yes, Halil is getting 
aged. Otherwise he would be exactly like his son. 

And the son knows very well that his father, Hahl 
Patrona, was slain man}', many long years ago by the 


Jarrold & Sons, The Empire Press, Norwich and London. 



Selections from ^ ^ 

larrold S Bom* ^ ^ 
%ht of Jfíctíoii '¥ # 

Maurus Jokai's Famous Novels. 

Authorised Editions. Croivn 8w, Art Linen^ 6/- each. 

Black Diamonds. {Fifth Edincn.) 

By Maurus Jókai, Author of " The Green Book," 
" Poor Plutocrats," etc. Translated by Frances 
Gerard. With Special Preface by the Author. 

" Full of vigour . . , his touches of humour are excellent." — Alorning Post. 
"An interesting story." — Tivtes. 

The Green Book. (Freedom Under the 

Snow.) {Sixth Edition.) 

By Maurus Jókai. Translated by Mrs. Waugli. 
With a finely engraved Portrait of Dr. Jókai. 

" Brilliantly drawn . . . a book to be read." — Daily CIiro)ticte. 

•' Thoroughly calculated to charm the novel-reading public by its ceaseless excite- 
ment_ . _ . . from first to last the interest never flags. A work of the most 
exciting interests and superb descriptions." — Athenceum. 

Pretty Michal. {Fourth Edition.) 

By Maurus Jókai. Translated by R. Nisbet Bain. 
With .1 specially engraved Photogravure Portrait of 
Dr. Jókai. 

"A fascinating novel." — The Speaker. 

" His workmanship is admirable, and he possesses a degree of sympathetic 
imagination not surpassed by any living novelist. The action of his stories is life- 
like, and full of movement and interest." — IVesimittster Gazette. 

A Hungarian Nabob. {Ft/th Edition.) 

By Maurus Jókai. Translated by R. Nisbet Bain. 
With a fine Photogravure Portrait of Dr. Jókai. 

" Full of exciting incidents and masterly studies of character." — Court Circular, 
" Th V work of a genius." — Pall xMull Geizetif.. 


In Tight Places. {Third Edition.) 

By Major Arthur Griffiths, Author of " For- 
bidden by Law," etc 5/„ 

" A lively and varied series of cosmopolitan crime, with plenty of mixed adventure 
and si-nsation. Sucli stories always fascinate, and Major Arthur Griffiths knows 
well how to tell them." — Pall Mall Gazette. 

St. Peter's Umbrella. {Third Edition.) 

By Kálmán Mikszáth, Author of "The Good 
People of Palvez." Translated from the original 
Hungarian by \V. B. Worswick. With Introduction 
by R. Nisbet Bain. A charming Photogravure 
Portrait of the Author and three illustrations. 5/« 

" The freshness, high spirits, and humour of Mikszáth make him a fascinating 
companion. His peasants, priests, and gentlefolks are amazingly human. Mikszáth 
is a born story-teller." — The spectator. 

The Adventures of Cyrano de Bergerac. 

Captain Satan. {Fotinh Edition.) 

Yxom the French of Louis Gallet. With specially 
engraved Portrait of Cyrano de Bergerac. . ^Z- 

"A delightful book. Se vividly delineated are the dramatis personcE, so interest- 
ing and enthralling are the incidents in the development of the tale, that it is 
impossible to skip one page, or to lay down the volume until the last words are 
read." — Daily TeUicrapk. 

A Woman's Burden. {Third Edition.) 

By Fergus Hume, Author of " The Mystery of a 
Hansom Cab," " The Lone Inn," etc. , . 6/- 

" Very good reading " — Athenceum. 

"Simply full of thrills from cover to cover." — Publishers Circular, 

Vivian of Virginia. {Second Edition.) 

Being the Memoirs of Our First Rebelh'on, by John 
Vivian, of Middle Plantation, Virginia. By Hulbcrt 
P^'uller, Author of " God's Rebel." With ten charming 
Illustrations by Frank T. Merrill. ... . 6/ = 

•'There is not a dull moment in the quaintly-written story, adventure followin* 
adventure, holding the reader in thr.iU ; the love interest is fully sustained." — 
Gentlewoman . 

An ima ViliS. {Seco?id Edition.) 

A tale of the Great Siberian Steppe. By Marva 
RODZIEWICZ. Translated from the Polish by Count 
S. C. de Soissons. With a fine Photogravure Portrait 
of the Author 6/- 

' A striking novel." — The Times. 
"Has both power and charm." — Literature. 


The Lion of Janina. {Fourth Edition.) 

By Maurus Jókai. Translated by R. Nisbet Bain. 
With a special Photogravure Portrait of Dr. Jókai. 

"A fascinating story— a brilliant and lurid series of pictures drawn by a great 
master's hand." — Daily Chronicle. 

Eyes Like the Sea. {Fourth Edition.) 

By Maurus Jókai. Translated by R. Nisbet Bain. 
With a fine Photogravure Portrait of Dr. Jókai. 

" In wealth of incident, in variety aná interest of characterisation, in the richness 
and humour of its surprises, ' Eyes Like the Sea' ranks with the finest work of the 
great Hungarian romancer. All is told with delightful and touching candour." — The 

Halil the Pedlar ; The White Rose. {Now ready.) 

By Maurus Jókai. Translated by R, Nisbet Bain. 
With a Photogravure Portrait of Dr. Jókai. 

This beautiful and picturesque tale of Oriental life reads like a 
chapter out of the " Arabian Nights." The heroine is a beautiful 
young Greek girl who escapes the gilded dishonour of the harem by 
feigning death and enduring torments. The scene of the story is 
Stambul, in the eighteenth century, and every phase of life in the great 
metropolis is described with singular fidelity. 

Carpathia Knox. {Third Edition.) 

By Curtis Yorke, Author of " Hush," " That Little 
Girl," " A Romance of Modern London," etc. With a 
charming Photogravure Portrait of the Author. 6/- 

" A very graphic and realistic glimpse ©f Spanish life. Full of freshness and 
prettily tola."— Aberdeen Free Press. 

Jocelyn Erroll. {Third Edition.) 

By Curtis Yorke, Author of " Once," " Dudley," 
" The Wild Ruthvens," etc. With a fine Photogravure 
Portrait of the Author. .... 6/- 

" Clever and fascinating, as is everything by this víút^r."— Dundee Advertiser. 

Valentine: A Story of Ideals. {Fourth Edition.) 

By Curtis Yorke, Author of "The Medlicotts," 
« His Heart to Win," " Because of the Child," etc. 6/- 

"It would indeed be hard to find a brighter, cheerier book . . . and few 
readers of ' Valentine ' will be able to resist her charming personality."— 77** 


The Gray House of the Quarries, {second Edition.) 

V>Y Mary H. Xorris. With etched Frontispiece 
by Edmund H. Garrett . . . . 5/- 

" Susanna is a splendid study. No person who takes up the book can resist 
its fascination." — IVestminsttr Keview. 

Distaff. {Second Edition.) 

By :\rARYA RODZIEWICZ, Author of " Anima Vilis," 
etc. Translated from the Poh'sh by Count S. C. de 
Soissons. With a finely engraved Portrait of the 
Author 5/- 

" A pheasant story, full of ability." — Pall Mall Gazette. 
"A striking novel.'' — Spectator. 

The Captive of Pekin. {Fourth Edition.) 

A Realistic Story of Chinese Life and Manners. 
By Charles Hannán. With twenty-three graphic 
Illustrations from life, depicting the Chinese torture 
fiends, by A. J. B. Salmon 5/. 

" Told with great vividness, a thrilling story dramatically told. The reader'* 
interest does not flag from beginning to end." — The Times. 
"A powerfully written and absorbing story." — Morning Fost. 

A Daughter of Mystery. {Second Edition.) 

By K Norman Silver . . . . 6/- 

" It cannot comfortably be laid down until it is finished. The plots and counter- 
plots make the brain reel. The book should be read, and will repay the most 
exacting lovers of the exciting." — Daily Ne'ws. 

Wayfarers All. {Second Edition.) 

By Leslie Keith, Author of " 'Lisbeth," " Isly 
Bonnie Lady." 6/- 

" An extremely entertaining and sympathetic romance. The Misses Green are 

m.istcrly characterisations, and so are Ruth's fascinating children." — Daily 

The Inn by the Shore. {Fifteenth Thousand.) 

By Florence Warden, Author of "The House 
on the iMarsh," etc. 3/6 

"A rattling stor>-, told in a lively way, incident following on incident in rapid 
succession." — ZJa/Vy Chronicle. 

Judy a Jilt. {Third Edition.) 

By .AIr.s. Conney, Author of "A Lady House 
Breaker," " Gold for Dross," etc. . . . ^1^ 

"Written in Mrs. Conney's happiest manner 'Judy a J. It' is a telling story 
throughout." — Daily Telegraph. 


The Tone King;. {Third Edu ion.) 

A Romance of the Life of Mozart. By Herihert 
Rau. Translated by J. E. S. Rae. With specially 
engraved Portrait of Mozart > . . . 6/ = 

" A lively story. The narrative of his achievements as a boy and man, deftly 
built up to com[) by Mr. Herihert Rau, is delightful reading throughout." — 
Daily Telegraph. 

" Full of tire and musical passion." — Literciry World. 

Over One Hundred Thousand Copies 
Sold \\\ America- 

The Golden Dog; (Le Ciiien D'Or). {Third Edition.) 

A Romance of the days of Louis Quinze in Quebec. 
By William Kirby, F.R.S.C. . . • '^ ó/= 

"Brimful of interest and excitement, the novel may be read with pleasure, and 
finished with regret." — Sheffield Independent. 

Memory Street. 

By Martha Baker Dunn, Author of "Sleeping 
Beauty," "Lias' Wife," etc 6/ = 

"This charming story is not only one of daily actions, but of important epochs. 
The novel is bright and alert, the personages are natural, the story is graphic and 
true to the very last." — Boston Times. 

God's RebeL 

By HULBERT Fuller, Author of "Vivian of 


" A book . . . palpitating with intensity." — St. PauTs Despatch. 
" Most interesting throughout." — Albany Times. 

The Rejuvenation of Miss Semaphore. 

( 1 'h irt let h Thousawi. ) 

A Farcical Novel. By Hal Godfrey (Miss C. 
O'Conor Eccles) 0/ = 

"A lightsome, laughable farce. . . . Some delightfully grotesque situations. 
The humour of the book is most enjoyable." — Daily Mail. 

" Is the clever expansion of a clever idea. Well written, drawn to the life, and 
full of fun." — Black and White. 

The Man Who Forgot. {Second Edition.) 

By John Mackie, Author of the "Prodigal's 
Brother," " Sinners Twain," etc. With a special 
Photogravure Portrait of the Author , . (>/ = 

" An exciting tale . . . distinctly a book to read and enjoy." — Daily Mail. 
"A vigorous and exciting story. Some part of the action of the book is laid 
in Java, and the catastrophe of Krakatoa is described with a vividness that makes 
real to us that appalling upheaving of Nature."— -/^liz/y News. 


The Poor Plutocrats. (As We Grow Old.) 

{Fourth Ediuon.) 

By Maurus JÓKAL Translated by R. Nisbet Bain. 
With a fine Photogravure Portrait of Dr. Jókai. 

"Distinctly a novel of incident and adventure, the whole atmosphere i'i fre^^h and 
new; the ways of life, the j^'cople of those ciiriuiis towns and villages and lonely 
mountains, are a revchnioii and a novelty. Put before us by tha pen of a master like 
Jókai, the effect is to stir and interest in an unusual degree."— U iiiy Clironicle. 

The Day of Wrath. {Fifth Edition.) 

By Maurus Jókai. Translated from the Hun- 
garian by R. Nisbet Bain. With a Photogravure 
Portrait of Dr. Jókai. 

" It is wildly exciting— having once begun you cannot stop, but must %o hurtling 
on to the end. The descriptive passages are remarkably vivid and lurid." — Bi*u:k 
and White, 

Dr. Dumany's Wife. {Fourth Eduion.) 

By Maurus JóKAL Translated by F. Stein itz 
(under the author's personal supervision). With 
specially engraved Photogravure Portrait of Dr. 

'' With kaleidoscopic rapidity, scene after scene passes before us. The novel shows 
us in a high degree the craft of the story-teller." — Literature. 

The Nameless Castie. {Fifth Edition.) 

By Maurus JóKAL Translated by S. E. Boggs 
(under the author's personal supervision). With a 
Photogravure Portrait of Dr. Jókai. 

"ToUl with infinite delicacy and charm, an enthralling romance."— 7V<i Bookman, 

Debts of Honor, {f-onrth Edition.) 

By Maurus Jókai. Translated by A. B. Yolland. 
With a charming Photogravure Portrait of Dr. and 
Madame Jókai. 

" Full of life and incident. Jokai's inimitable pen, vivid, fiery, hunioroiis, never 
fails to stir and attract." — Daily Ttie^ropk. 

'Midst the Wild Carpathians. {Fourth Edition.) 

By Maurus Jókai. Translated by R. Nisbet Bain. 
With a specially engraved Portrait of Dr. Jókai. 

" Will enthral all English lovers of romanc-i." — Saiurdny Rrz<ic~i<. 

" It is powerful, it is vigorous, and, what is more thaji all, it is fresh."— /Af Suh. 


Cherry Ripe. (35^^ Thousand.) 

By Helen Mathers, Author of "Comin' thro' 
the Rye." 3/6 

" It has humour, it has poetry, it hrus dramatic force. . . . Must take rank 
amongst our stronger and more original fiction." — Newcastle Daily Leader. 


Crown SvOf cloth gilt, 3/6 each. 
The Story of a Sin, {Seventh Edition.) 

Eyre's Acquittal. (Sequel to the above.) 

{Fifth Edition.) 

Jock o' Hazelgreen. {Fifth Edition.) 

My Lady Green Sleeves. {Seventh Edition.) 

Found Out. (lOS'-ö^ Thousand.) 

The Lovely Malincourt. {sixth Edition.) 

Miss Providence. {Fourth Edition.) 

By Miss Dorothea Gerard. . . 3^5 

"A story to be read with genuine pleasure." — Weekly Sun. 
The Winds of March. {Second Edition.) 

By George Knight. .... 3/6 

" A clever story, cleverly told, and exceedingly well worth reading."— //f«r//i and 

The Prodigal's Brother. {Secoiid Edition.) 

By John Mackie, Author of "The Man Who 
Forgot," etc 3/Ó 

" His characters are well defined .... a book well worth eading."— Z^a/'/y 

" An excellent story." — Bookman. 

Selections from Jarrold and Sons' List. 

Hungarian Literature: 

An Historical and Critical Survey. 

By CniL KEICM (Doctor Juris), 

Author of '■^History of Civilization,^'* ^^ Historical Atlas of Modem 
History^'' " Graco-Rútnan Institutions í^ etc. 

Crown 8vo. Cloth, Gilt Top, 63. 

With Map of Hungary. 


Dally Chronicle— 

" A work of no small merit and ability. It supplies a long- 
felt want. Dr. Reich has evidently read up his subject with 
care and conscientiousness, and displays no small ability in 
marshalling an immense array of facts. He has presented us 
with an exceedingly lucid and pregnant account of one of the 
most original and fascinating literatures of Europe." 

Sunday Times— 

" Dr. Reich has done us a very real service, and his work 
should be widely known, and take a permanent place among 
our literary reference books." 

The Globe— 

" It should be in great demand among those who desire to 
add to their knowledge of European poetry and fiction." 


"An excellent piece of work, lucid, and well proportioned, 
displaying considerable critical faculty and great historical 


"We hope the volume will find a wide circulation among 
educated English readers." 

London: Jarrold and Sons, 10 and 11, Warwick Lane, E.C, 

Selections froin Jarrold and Sons' List. 

"Thomas Hoore " : 

Being Anecdotes, Bon-mots, and Epigrams from 
the Journal of Thomas Moore. 

Edited, with Notes, by Wilmot Harrison, Author of 
•' Memorable London Houses," etc. With Special 
Introduction by Richard Garnett, LL.D., and 
Frontispiece Portrait of Thomas Moore. 

Crown 8vo. Cloth neat, 3/6. 


The Morning Leader— 

" No happier beginning could have been made than by the anecdotes, bon- 
mots, and epigrams from the ' Journal of Thomas Moore.' The fame of Moore 
as a poet has sadly diminished since his death. All the more, therefore, as Mr. 
Richard Garnett, in his scholarly introduction demands, should we be glad to 
preserve his name and fame as a raconteur, a story-teller who carries us 
irresistibly back to the very atmosphere breathed by Byron and Washington 


" Mr. Garnett's introduction gives a delightful picture of the man and his 
social charm. The collection is a storehouse of good things said by men noted 
for the brilliance of their conversation. Much pleasure can be extracted, and no 
small knowledge of an intensely social period." 

Pall Mall Gazette— 

" Every one of the pages has sparkle and animation in it. Moore knew 
everybody worth knowing in his time, and he introduces us to men who have 
taken their places in history — not by any formidable description, but with an en- 
joyable joke and a good-natured story." 

London: Jarrold and Sons, lo and ii, Warwick Lane, E.C. 

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